CCTV footage shows violent attempted robbery at high-end watch store in central London

Four men who were caught trying to carry out a smash-and-grab robbery at a high-end watch store – which left a police officer with a fractured skull and injured five others – have been jailed.

Charlie Kavanagh, 26, Stephen Hopkins, 29, James Symes, 30 and Johnny Kyriacou, 25, attempted to rob the Chronext watch shop in Piccadilly, London, on August 3 but were apprehended by the Metropolitan Police’s Flying Squad.

The men were jailed for between 10 years and six months to life in prison at Blackfriars Crown Court on Thursday, the Metropolitan Police said.

Officers saw two mopeds stop on the pavement outside the shop at 11.25am before Hopkins kicked the front security door open, running inside and smashing the glass on a cabinet inside.

Kyriacou, who like Hopkins was in possession of a hatchet, followed, but was challenged by Flying Squad officers who went inside the shop after them. The pair then ran out of the shop but were pursued by officers. Outside the store, Symes and Kavanagh were waiting on mopeds and were tackled by the officers but tried to flee.

Kavanagh then drove deliberately along the pavement towards three officers, knocking two aside, while the third was hit square on and was dragged up the road, police said.

The officer ended up with the scooter lying on top of him and suffered a fractured skull with bleeds on his brain, cracked ribs, damage to his lung and a broken ankle. He has yet to return to work.

“I suffered a number of injuries which have had, and which are still having, an impact on my day-to-day life,” said the injured officer. “I’m alarmed at the extent of my injuries as all I did was go to work one day and I ended up on the operating table a couple of days later.”

“Our officers know the dangers they might face in their day-to-day job targeting armed robbers but should be commended for their drive and determination to apprehend those intent on breaking the law and endangering the public,” said Detective Chief Inspector Sarah Staff, from the Met’s Flying Squad.

Kavanagh was sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiracy to rob and causing serious injury by dangerous driving and must serve at least 13 and a half years. Hopkins received 14 and a half years for conspiracy to rob and one year concurrent for unlawful wounding. Symes received the same sentence for conspiracy to rob, while Kyriacou was sentenced to 10 and a half years for the same offence.

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