Prolific armed robbers jailed for 20 years

Cerqua (left) and McAward (right) have been jailed for a total of 20 years
Cerqua (left) and McAward (right) have been jailed for a total of 20 years

A pair of robbers who hit ten corner shops in a little over a week have been jailed for a total of 20 years.

Between February 28 and March 10 Scott Cerqua, 36, of Hitchin Road, Luton, and George McAward, 32, of The Mall, Dunstable, entered a number of convenience stores, newsagents, and off licenses to threaten staff and stealing large quantities of cash, alcohol, and cigarettes.

During one botched robbery Cerqua and McAward were chased out of Slip End Superstore by two brave shopkeepers.

CCTV footage shows the robbers barging their way into the shop before making a hasty escape when encountering resistance.

Cerqua was found guilty after a trial at Luton Crown Court and will serve 10 years imprisonment.

McAward’s prize for pleading guilty was a nine year and nine month sentence.

Detective Inspector Jackie Dadd said: “This was a difficult case which saw 10 armed robberies in two weeks take place across Luton and the surrounding area. Our team worked incredibly hard to identify those responsible and so I’m delighted with the sentences that have been handed out.

“These robberies were very distressing for the shop staff, many of whom were threatened at knife point, so I hope that this result will often some comfort and closure for them.”

When/where the robberies took place:

• Tuesday 10 March, Poynters Road, Dunstable

• Sunday 8 March, Bird’s Hill, Heath and Reach

• Saturday 7 March, Albert Road, Luton

• Friday 6 March, Common Road, Kensworth

• Tuesday 3 March, Albert Road, Luton

• Sunday 1 March, High Street South, Dunstable

• Sunday 1 March, Markyate Road, Slip End

• Sunday 1 March, Wellington Street, Luton

• Sunday 1 March, Common Road, Kensworth

• Saturday 28 February, Albert Road, Luton