Masked men who robbed shops in Leeds caught after police recognised CCTV audio

  • Audio taken from CCTV of one of the robberies helped to convict two of the gang

A masked gang who raided a string of shops armed with Samurai swords were caught after a police officer recognised the voice of one of the robbers on CCTV.

Jeffrey Chikosha and Brandon Jarrett targeted three shops in Leeds in nine days, threatening staff with weapons and stealing thousands of pounds in cash and goods.

But they were tracked down after Det Con Alan Andrews reviewed CCTV footage and recognised Chikosha from his walk and voice.

The audio was matched to a recording of a taxi booking the pair had made shortly after one of the robberies. Other taxi bookings also put the pair in the area.

Det Insp Vicky Vessey, from the Leeds district crime team, said: “We know that offenders like them brag about 'no face, no case' if they wear masks while committing offences, but DC Andrews' detailed knowledge of local criminals and investigative skills have shown them that their arrogance is misplaced."

Chikosha, Jarrett and an accomplice who has never been identified began their criminal spree on 13 December 2021 when they robbed Skelton Wood Post Office and Convenience Store in Whinmoor.

They threatened staff and demanded cash, cigarettes and alcohol before escaping in a waiting car.

Just over a week later they targeted Londis store in Wetherby Road in Leeds. Armed again with Samurai swords they terrorised the woman working behind the counter.

In CCTV from the shop Jarrett can be heard telling her: "Open the till or you are going to get hurt.

"Open it or I will hit you with it."

A customer confronted the robbers with a box of beer. Credit: West Yorkshire Police

A customer who was in the shop at the time tried to intervene and can be seen on the footage picking up a box of beer bottles and throwing it at the gang before chasing them from the shop.

Their final robbery took place on December 29, 2021 at the Co-Op on Selby Road, when they emptied the till and the shelves.

A distinctive jacket worn by Jarrett during the robberies was later found at a family address following his arrest.

The pair denied any involvement in the robberies, but were both charged with three armed robberies and three counts of possessing Samurai swords.

Jarrett pleaded guilty. Chikosha was convicted following a trial at Leeds Crown Court.

Chikosha, 25, of Wykebeck Mount, Osmondthorpe, was jailed for nine years. Jarrett, aged 23, of Haugh Shaw Road, Halifax, was jailed for six years and nine months.

The pair had previously been jailed in May 2021 for their role in stealing vehicles in Leeds.

Det Insp Vessey said: "The footage from the robbery at the Londis store shows very starkly what a terrifying experience this was for those involved."

She also commended the "incredible bravery" of the customer who challenged the robbers.

"While we always advise people caught up in such potentially dangerous situations to put their safety first, his actions clearly made the difference in bringing this incident to a conclusion before anyone was seriously hurt," she said.

“We will be making sure that his courage is formally recognised through our awards process."

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