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Bungling armed robbers caught after catalogue of errors in A Simmonds raid

By Paul Hooper
The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court
The case was heard at Canterbury Crown Court

A teenage robber claimed he took part in an armed raid on a Deal jewellers shop because he didn’t want to be a ‘fraggle’.

But a jury heard the attack was so botched it could have come from the muppet show “Fraggle Rock”, from which the term for a coward was coined.

The gang – including Oguzhan Kaya and Michael Delsignore – had planned the raid at A Simmonds in Deal’s High Street on Halloween night last year.

But the robbery turned into a nightmare from the start when:

  • Delsignorehired a getaway van in his OWN name
  • The raiders got into an argument over a £7 toll fee before the attack
  • Their getaway car registration number was noted by a passer-by
  • When the gang tried to burn the car – smoke was seen by neighbours
  • The bungling thieves later discovered all they have snatched were second-hand watches and silver earrings, worth about £3000! and then:
  • They left the price tags inside the van for police to find!

Prosecutor Peter Forbes also revealed during the trial at Canterbury Crown Court that the gang also forgot to hire the van for a second day so it could be cleaned and then Kaya gave some of the jewellery to his girlfriend, where it was found by detectives!

Kaya, 18, of Hinchcliffe Way, Margate and Delsignore 28, of Mill Road, Deal were both convicted of the robbery.

Kaya was also found guilty of possessing an imitation firearm. They had denied the charges.

Both will be sentenced in June when Kaya’s girlfriend, Kayleigh Somerville of Bath Road, Margate will appear after earlier admitting handling stolen goods.

The trial heard how three men burst into the jeweller's armed with what staff believed was a double-barrelled shotgun.

The men, all hooded and wearing balaclavas or scarves, walked into the shop and began smashing display cabinets – after ordering the female staff members to lie down.

An assistant thought at first that it was just a practical joke.

Angela Rougier said in a statement, read to the court: “At first I thought this was a Halloween prank but then one of the men said: ‘Get down!’.

“The other man then lifted up a double-barrelled shotgun. I then crouched down. I could then hear glass being smashed.”

"At first I thought this was a Halloween prank but then one of the men said: ‘Get down!’" - shop assistant Angela Rougier

But instead of loading up a sports bag with expensive jewels, the gormless thieves just went for second-hand and less expensive silver items.

And while they were busy making a noise, which alerted passers-by, another assistant pressed an alarm button to alert police that a raid was taking place.

They then headed back along the Ancient Highway – the road between Deal and Sandwich- via the Royal St Georges private estate and golf course.

The estate has a £7 toll booth but the white van driver – with Delsignore inside – had a bust-up with the estate manager when they refused to hand over the cash!

The episode was caught on CCTV and the manager remembered the verbal abuse he was given by the occupants.

And when the gang torched the Peugeot used in the raid –the smoke was seen by people living nearby.

A week later officers went to the home of Kaya’s girlfriend and found him skulking in the basement.

Mr Forbes said that on a coffee table in the middle of the room, police seized a plastic container with a pair of red stone earrings inside.

Nearby, in a make up bag, they discovered more earrings...still mounted in their plastic display pieces along with a price tag with “A.Simmonds” written on it.

Forensic experts were also able to identify glass fragments from the jewellers inside the van and on clothing worn by Kaya.

He claimed he had been recruited and threatened by brothers, Adam and Jason Christian into taking part in the robbery.

No-one else has been charged in relation to the robbery.

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