Jury convicts two men for plotting 'terrifying' ram-raid robbery on Northampton town centre jewellers
A father and son have been found guilty of plotting a co-ordinated smash-and-grab robbery on a Northampton town centre jewellers.
The ram-raid in December last year was witnessed by dozens of people who could only watch as a BMW crashed through the glass doors of Michael Jones Jewellers in Gold Street.
But that car was just the battering ram - because just seconds later, a second car arrived outside the store from which armed five men climbed out and piled into the store before stealing over £100,000 worth of high-end watches and jewellery.
The gang then escaped in a series of prepared getaway cars which were systematically dumped and burned.
But today (December 20), a father and son have been convicted by a jury at Northampton crown Court of plotting the raid for their own gain.
Elliot Burton, 50, and Connor Burton, 27 - both from Birmingham - scouted out several different jewellers across the UK in search of a target before setting their sights on Northampton.
Evidence played to the jury showed how the two men were caught on CCTV travelling to authorised Rolex dealerships in different towns to "scout" the area before leaving after less than a minute.
On December 8, both Burtons reportedly drove to a Rolex dealership in Leicester. They were spotted on CCTV looking through the shop's window for less than minute before leaving.
Then, 90 minutes later, they were spotted on CCTV again - looking through the shop windows of Michael Jones Jewellers in Northampton.
Both men spent several minutes pointing to different items on display - before leaving without entering the shop and driving back to Birmingham.
The Michael Jones dealership was robbed less than a week later.
Prosecutor Mr Andrew Peet's case was that these trips were 'recce' visits to scout out towns to target, and that the men chose Northampton because the straight approaches of Gold Street and Bridge Street would make the getaway car's escape easier.
DNA samples from Elliott Burton - who makes a living dealing in high-end watches and was convicted of a similar conspiracy to rob in 2008 - were also found on an axe in one of the burnt out escape cars.
Four cars in total were used in the attack, and all four of them were stolen from within 10 miles of the Burtons' addresses in Birmingham in the weeks leading up the robbery.
The court also heard how the attack on Northampton was only carried out because a similar raid planned for a jewellers in Swindon was foiled just weeks before.
Today, the jury also convicted Elliot Burton of plotting that robbery as well.
Connor Burton is also accused of planning the Swindon robbery, but the jury has not yet reached a verdict on whether he was involved.
The jury are expected to return a verdict over this on Monday.