Two men who disguised themselves by wearing burkas during a Phones 4U robbery have been jailed for ten years.
Mohammed Sabek, 27, and Aneel Khan, 28, both from west London, approached a sales assistant, who was serving a customer and threatened him with a meat cleaver.
At around 6.50pm on 2 October 2012, the pair, who were Phones4U ex-employees and had been under investigation by the store for alleged misconduct, ordered the assistant to close the front door of the Putney High Street store and demanded to see the manager and have the keys to the store room.
The sales assistant, customer and the manager of the store were then forced into a locked cage area in the basement where they were tied up.
Sabek and Khan then loaded more than £40,000 worth of phones, tablets, accessories and cash into suitcases before threatening one of the victims to give a false statement to the police before stealing his ID card with his home address.
They left the store in a taxi back to Hounslow. No one was injured during the robbery, which followed a failed attempt to rob the store two days before.
Owing to a "lengthy and complex investigation", the pair were not arrested until February this year.
They were each convicted of one count of conspiracy to rob on Thursday, 16 October, following a trial at Kingston Crown Court.
Sabek, of Grosvenor Road, W4, and Aneel Khan, of Great Woodcote Park in Purley, Surrey, have been jailed for five years each.
Detective Constable John Baldwin, from Wandsworth CID, said: "Both Sabek and Khan are now facing a long jail sentence because they thought by wearing clothing to conceal their face and body they could commit crime and not be caught.
"What both of them failed to realise is that the Met will use specialist teams and equipment to catch and prosecute those responsible for such acts.
"I hope that these sentences serve as a reminder to anybody thinking of committing serious crimes, that sooner or later they will be serving a lengthy custodial sentence."
On 24 October 2014, we published a story under the headline 'Burka-wearing Phones 4U Robbers Mohammed Sabek and Aneel Khan Jailed for 10 Years' , which erroneously identified Mr Aneel Khan of Gloucester Road, Kingston upon Thames, as one of two persons convicted of an armed robbery on Putney High Street. Although one of the persons who were convicted of this offence was named Aneel Khan, he was not the Aneel Khan who lives in Gloucester Road. We apologise to Mr Khan for this error, but point out that the relevant information was taken from a Metropolitan Police press release which contained the same error.