‘Men in white’ given lengthy jail terms

Raid on Bruford's, Eastbourne
Raid on Bruford's, Eastbourne

A GANG of international smash and grab jewellery raiders dubbed the ‘Men in White’ who targeted an Eastbourne shop twice are facing hundreds of years in jail for an incredible £3.5m crimewave.

The robbers wore disposable white paper suits and gas masks as they used sledge hammers to shatter reinforced glass in seconds.

They smashed their way into Bruuford’s on January 21 2008 and months later the same year on October 23.

They even travelled to Antwerp, Europe’s diamond capital in Belgium, to carry out a heist there, spraying the shop owner and passers-by with CS gas.

Working in groups of three or four, the raiders stripped out of their disposable overalls as they made their getaway and escaped on powerful motorcycles.

The bikes were stolen in robberies on dealerships.

Ringleaders were identified by the Flying Squad and after a massive surveillance operation five robbers were arrested during a raid on Mappin & Webb jewellers in Guildford, Surrey, in 2009.

More arrests were made as gang members prepared to raid David Dudley jewellers in Marlborough, Somerset.

A total of 30 raiders will be sentenced at Kingston Crown Court over the next two days.