TWO men have been jailed for a total of 26 years after a 'violent' armed robbery at a Blackburn town centre jewellers.
Danny Booth, 27, of Park Road, Westhoughton, Bolton was jailed for seven years, six months and Scott Mardsen, 28, of Chapelside Close, Wigan was handed a 19-year sentence, which includes time for other drugs related offences.
The pair were part of a group of four men who, with their faces covered, forced their way into Humberstones Jewellers on King William Street armed with axes and machetes whilst the store was open for business.
They smashed through every glass cabinet, stealing jewellery and watches worth in excess of £300,000 and causing thousands of pounds worth of damage.
One of the gang threatened a member of the public with an axe as they made their escape in a red Volkswagen Golf.
A short time later, the group were seen moving from the Golf into a grey BMW car.
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After being pursued by officers from Greater Manchester Police, the BMW was found abandoned in Bolton.
Booth and Marsden were located around two hours later attempting to get into a Range Rover in Bolton and arrested on suspicion of robbery.
DC 200 Nick Talbot from Blackburn Police said: “I am pleased with this result and hope that it sends a clear message that we will investigate and bring to justice to those who come into Lancashire to commit these violent crimes.
“The staff working at Humberstones that day managed to run into the back of shop, fearful of what may happen to them. Thankfully no workers or customers were hurt by these thugs.
“I would like to pass on my gratitude to our colleagues at Greater Manchester Police who assisted us during our enquiries.
“Booth and Marsden did not act alone and despite the pair being dealt with by the courts, there are still two outstanding offenders who we are still very much committed to locating.
“The investigation is still on-going and we are confident of making more arrests in the near future.”
The stolen jewellery has never been located.