A violent gang who tried to leave a false trail for police while they robbed a petrol station, were caught out by their mobile phones.
Abutather Rahim, Mahfoozur Rahman and Moshinur Rahman carried out a string of terrifying robberies between June 2 and June 17 last year including at a petrol filling station in Trinity Road on June 2, a convenience store on the same road on June 14 and at a car sales business on June 17.
The men even called police to report a fictitious violent robbery in Wardown Park to distract police before they held-up the filling station.
The gang threatened workers with meat cleavers, demanding they hand over cash and cigarettes.
Mahfoozur Rahman was a member of staff at the car dealership and let his criminal counterparts into the business premises after they had tricked the owner into leaving. When the owner returned, Mahfoozur Rahman was tied up in the toilets - pretending to have been threatened by the gang.
However detectives linked him with the two others through mobile phone contact and the conspiracy began to unravel.
Officers carried out warrants at the addresses of the three and discovered cigarettes, stolen phones and other stolen property.
The men all pleaded guilty to conspiracy to rob and were jailed at Luton Crown Court on Friday, July 24.
Mahfoozur Rahman, 24, of Calverton Road, Luton, was jailed for six years, while Moshinur Rahman, 21, of Calverton Road, Luton, and Rahim, 20, of Trinity Road, Luton, were each sentenced to five years and three months.
Detective Constable Cathie Layton said: “These men carried out terrifying armed robberies and thought nothing of using the threat of violence for their own gain.
“The victims were in genuine fear for their lives and the experience will no doubt live long in their memories.
“Mahfoozur Rahman even pretended to have been the victim of a robbery in order to deceive his own boss.
“We’re pleased that they have now been brought to justice. This case should serve as a warning to anyone who thinks it is acceptable to commit such offences.
“We will continue to bring offenders to justice in order to protect our communities.”