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  1. ITV Report

Five men sentenced for million pound jewellery heist in Truro

Five members of an organised crime gang have been sentenced for the raid on Michael Spiers Jewellery store. Photo: ITV West Country

Five members of an organised criminal gang have been sentenced for their part in the biggest armed robbery ever investigated by Devon and Cornwall Police.

The Lithuanian robbers raided the Michael Spiers jewellery store in Truro, making off with almost £1million worth of watches and jewels.

The men burst into the Michael Spiers store on Lemon street with a gun, shouting at staff and customers to get down.

Two of the gang members carried pepper spray and used it on the store manager and a customer who wandered in during the raid.

  • Watch CCTV footage of the two-minute raid below:

They then ransacked display cabinets taking jewels and watches, one of which is valued at £75,000.

It's an incredibly serious crime, thankfully a very rare crime in Cornwall.

When you're confronted with a situation like that with four men, at least one of whom is armed - the individuals in the shop in particular I think had a very difficult situation to deal with and I applaud their support for the investigation and the way they manage that at the time but I have no doubt that it had a tremendous impact on them.''

– DCI Pete Found, Devon and Cornwall Police
£975k
worth of goods stolen in the haul.

The raid lasted just two minutes. Despite being pursued by a member of the public, they managed to escape in the first of two getaway cars.

A few months before the raid, one member of the gang drove past the store 10 times. This was recorded on his sat nav, helping police piece together the case.

At least four of the gang members flew into the UK from Lithuania in the days running up to the robbery.

Ringleader Gytis Inokaitis, who was jailed for 13 years on Thursday, was the only member of the gang based in Cornwall.

He ran a clothing collection firm, which he claimed was legitimate, but it was used as a front for bringing accomplices into the UK under the guise of working for him.

Haroldas Ivanovas, 20, sentenced to seven years. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Haroldas Ivanovas, 20, described as ‘footsoldier’ by the defence - sentenced to seven years in a young offenders institute for conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a firearm with intent.
Rogertas Slekaitis, 25, sentenced to nine and a half years. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Rogertas Slekaitis, 25, described as ‘ripe for recruitment’ by the defence - sentenced to nine and a half years for conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a firearm with intent.
Salius Mickus, 28, sentenced to eight years for conspiracy. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Salius Mickus, 28, described as ‘blameless’ by the defence - sentenced to eight years for conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a firearm with intent.
Tomas Bakierskis, 24, sentenced to nine and a half years. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Tomas Bakierskis, 24, also describes as a ‘foot soldier’ by the defence - sentenced to nine and a half years for conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a firearm with intent.
Agris Davidonis sentenced to 21 months. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Agris Davidonis sentenced to 21 months for perverting the course of justice.

All will serve half of their sentence before being eligible for release on license.

Andrius Buinevicius sentenced to 16 years. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Andrius Buinevicius sentenced to 16 years for conspiring to commit robbery and for possession of a firearm with intent.
Gytis Inokaitis sentenced to 13 years. Credit: ITV West Country
  • Gytis Inokaitis sentenced to 13 years for conspiring to commit robbery.

My sort of supposition is they felt this was a sleepy backwater place and maybe that's why they targeted the jewellers like they did.

Hopefully what they've now learnt is that whilst events like this in Cornwall are rare we do still have staff who are qualified and skilled and able to respond to them.

I'm really pleased that on this occasion we were able to identify the offenders quite quickly and ultimately bring them all to justice.''

– DCI Pete Found, Devon and Cornwall Police

All four who went into the shop were arrested within 36 hours.

Tomas Bakierskis and Salius Mickus were filmed at St Austell railway station catching a train to Bristol, where they were arrested the next day.

On the night of the robbery they appeared to travel back to St Austell for just half an hour, leading police to believe they may have been collecting or moving the haul of jewellery.

The items the gang stole have never been recovered.

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