Gang facing jail for £1m armed raids

A 20-YEAR-OLD traveller is facing a lengthy custodial sentence after being found guilty of being part of an armed gang which stole property and caused damage totalling £1 million in a string of raids at post offices and stores in East Anglia.

A 20-YEAR-OLD traveller is today facing a lengthy custodial sentence after being found guilty of being part of an armed robbery gang.

The raiders stole property and caused damage totalling £1 million in a string of raids at post offices and stores in Suffolk, Norfolk and Cambridgeshire.

Rocky Buckley admitted taking part in a series of burglaries and ram raids but claimed that he had refused to take part in armed raids because the stakes were too high.

However, a jury at Ipswich Crown Court yesterday found Buckley, of Meadow Road, Willingham, Cambridgeshire, guilty of conspiring to commit armed robbery after a two-week trial.


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Buckley was remanded in custody until he is sentenced with six other travellers who have already admitted their part in the raids.

During the trial the court heard that the gang netted £500,000 cash and property and caused £500,000 damage during their year-long spree in 2004 and 2005.

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Premises targeted in the campaign included the Spar Shop in Reynolds Road, Ipswich, where £25,500 was stolen and One Stop Video, also in Reynolds Road, Ipswich.

John Farmer, prosecuting, described the raids, which sometimes happened at the rate of two or three a day, as “serious, professional, organised crime”.

He said the gang, which carried out the raids, were members of the travelling community and were arrested after a police investigation codenamed Operation Arctic.

The court heard that the raiders had armed themselves with a variety of weapons including sawn off shotguns, baseball bats, pick axes and sledgehammers and had disguised themselves with balaclavas.

After yesterday's hearing temporary Detective Inspector Graham Moss said: “It has been a complicated investigation due to the period of time, seriousness of the offences and the organisation of the defendants.

“It started with serious offences occurring in the Babergh policing area which we linked to jobs in Ipswich and then even further, across the whole region.”

N Have you been the victim of an armed robbery? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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