A gang of armed thieves who tried to rob Arsenal stars Mezut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac of their £200,000 watches have been jailed for more than 100 years.
The eight men, who carried knives, machetes and firearms, terrorised wealthy north
They wore masks as they broke into luxury homes and ambushed people in their cars before demanding they hand over jewellery and cash, often at knifepoint.
One of the gang, Jordan Northover, 28, had attempted to rob two Arsenal stars of their £200,000 watches at the point of a knitting needle on July 25, 2019.
Sead Kolasinac, 27, was a passenger in teammate Mesut Ozil’s black Mercedes G-Class jeep when they were ambushed in Hampstead, northwest London.
CCTV footage shows Bosnian defender Kolasinac, known at ‘The Tank’, jumping out of the passenger seat of Ozil’s £165,000 4×4 to fight off Northover who prods him with the needle.
But Kolasinac didn’t flinch, instead squaring up to the thugs – who arrived on a moped – and attempting to knock them out before jumping back inside the vehicle.
Pictured L-R top: Steve Barton, Martin Delaney, Patrick Delaney and Andy Kiasuka-Kiakanda. Bottom: Ryan Leurs, Jordan Northover, Kiaron Jones-Hewitt and Cheyenne Cato
Pictured: Gang members Martin Delaney and Andrew Kiasuka-Kiakanda on a motorcycle
Ozil, 32, who earned £350,000 per-week, sped away down the wrong side of a road in Childs Hill following the attack on July 25 and took refuge at a Turkish restaurant.
Northover was previously handed a six-year sentence for the attempted robbery.
The gang of eight were sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Monday and Tuesday following the campaign of violence.
They are understood to have committed around 20 offences in total.
In one terrifying raid, five masked men armed with a knife smashed open the door of an 80-year-old woman’s bedroom and demanded she told them where her safe was.
They smashed her wardrobes and forced her to the floor on May 19, but eventually left when the horrified victim confessed she did not have a lock box.
On April 10 last year, a driver was waiting in his car when a machete was forced through the window. He ran from his car but was chased, threatened and made to hand over his Rolex.
And in June, a woman was at home with her two children in Golders Green when two burglars wearing balaclavas forced entry with a crowbar.
One of the gang, Jordan Northover, 28, had attempted to rob Arsenal stars Mezut Ozil (above) and Sead Kolasinac of their watches at the point of a knitting needle on July 25, 2019
She tried to deter them from entering by holding up her phone saying that she was calling the police and then ran and hid upstairs as the raiders stole the keys to her black Audi.
Five of the gang struck again the next day in St John’s Wood, forcing open the victim’s locked bedroom door.
They ordered him to hand over cash and jewellery at knifepoint but he told them he had lost his belongings in a previous raid.
He was threatened with a gun before the gang fled as police arrived.
Two days later on July 16, four members of the gang terrorised a couple when they forced their way into a home in Brondesbury Park through a bathroom window.
The occupants awoke to find the masked men in their bedroom and were forced to open their safe after one of them threatened to ‘go and see’ a daughter who was sleeping next door.
Pictured: Jordan Northover, 28, who was jailed for six years for attempted robbery
Detectives had them under observation and watched on July 19 as four masked members of the gang carried out a burglary in Barnet Gate.
The raiders set off an alarm and fled empty handed in an Audi they had stolen in the previous Golders Green burglary.
Just over thirty minutes later, detectives watching them in an unmarked car in Hampstead were astonished as gang members approached the vehicle, intent on robbing them.
Officers called in reinforcements when the gang used a metal bar in an attempt to smash the car window.
The four raiders sped off in a stolen car with a police helicopter giving chase and they were all arrested nearby.
Around 20 offences are believed to have been committed by various members of the gang in total.
Detective Sergeant Gary Taylor from the Flying Squad, said: ‘The way this gang targeted their victims and threatened them with weapons during their crime spree was truly shocking and abhorrent.
‘The impact these heinous crimes have had on the victims cannot be understated.
‘These defendants wrongly thought they wouldn’t be caught. However, Flying Squad officers were able to close the net on these robbers and bring them into custody after a proactive surveillance operation.’
Patrick Delaney, 30, of Clarence Way, Camden was sentenced to a total of 16 years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary and attempted robbery.
Martin Delaney, 29, of Hawley Road, Camden was sentenced to a total of 11 years’ imprisonment for attempted robbery and robbery.
Sead Kolasinac (muzzed by police) turns to face the moped gang trying to rob him and Mesut Ozil for their £200,000 watches and didn’t flinch as he tried to beat them up despite the knife
The masked men appeared ready to stab the Arsenal star but police previously praised the footballer and said the robbers ‘didn’t bargain for him fighting back’
Kiaron Jones-Hewitt, 27, of Sherriff Road, West Hampstead was sentenced to eight years’ imprisonment for attempted robbery.
Andy Kiasuka-Kiakanda, 26, of Rowley Way, St John’s Wood, was sentenced to a total of 14 years and four months’ imprisonment after he admitted conspiracy to commit robbery and burglary, and a further offence of robbery.
Four other men involved in the crime spree had earlier been found guilty of conspiracy to commit burglary and robbery, they were also sentenced as follows:
Cheyenne Cato, 27, of Iverson Road, West Hampstead was sentenced to 15 years’ imprisonment.
Northover, of no fixed address, was sentenced to a total of 18 years’ imprisonment.
Mesut Ozil (dyed blonde hair) was pictured talking to officers outside Turkish restaurant Likya on Golders Green Road in north London after the attack last summer
Ozil (far right), his wife Amine Gulse (far left) with Sead Kolasinac and his bride Bella Kolasinac on their wedding day in June in Baden, Germany
Ryan Leurs, 19, of Maitland Park Villas, Hampstead was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment.
Steven Barton, 20, of Denton Malden Crescent, Camden was sentenced to nine years’ imprisonment.
Ashley Smith, 31, was jailed for ten years which was reduced to six on appeal for his part in the attempted robbery of the footballers.
Judge Ian Bourne said: ‘They planned this attack with great care, armed themselves with pointed weapons capable of causing significant injury one said to be a knitting needle one said to be a screwdriver.
‘It is said and it is obvious that both of these defendants are prolific career criminals.’
Smith, of Cardinals Way, Islington, had admitted attempted robbery at Snaresbrook Crown Court.
How the moped gang took on the wrong man: Arsenal’s Bosnian ‘Tank’ came out fighting
Best friends Mesut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac in a warm up
The would-be robbers picked on the wrong man when they took on the man they call The Tank.
Sead Kolasinac, the no-nonsense 6ft Bosnian international, was born in Germany to refugee parents who fled the hardships of the war in their Balkan homeland.
And he revels in his ‘pretty cool’ nicknames, Destroyer as well as The Tank.
His father, Faik, said his son’s physical statue was down to the family’s Bosniak roots. ‘It’s all about genetics,’ he said.
The Kolasinac family settled in Karlsruhe where Faik worked at a local Mercedes-Benz factory to support his wife and children.
‘I have Germany to thank for everything, just like my family,’ Sead said in 2017. ‘At that time it was not easy as a refugee. In my country there was a war, it was not easy to go to Germany and gain a foothold. Germany made that possible.’
Young Sead, seldom seen without a football at his feet, soon attracted attention of German teams but never forgot his roots.
Every week he would return to his mother’s kitchen for burek and traditional tarts. And the whole family make an annual pilgrimage back their former village of Domanovici. According to his father, Kolasinac adores being among his people.
The traditional family life has continued with Sead, who married long-time girlfriend and social media influencer Bella just last month in Baden, Germany.
He met her while he was playing at German side Schalke 04, where the five-years-older Mesut Ozil took him under his wing, the pair bonding over their shared Muslim faith.
The religion played a significant part in Kolasinac’s upbringing, with the youngster often skipping school to go to Islamic classes in the mosque.
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