Armed robbery gang targeted arcades in series of raids across West Midlands

A violent armed robbery gang was this afternoon jailed for a combined 54 years after a terrifying spree of raids at businesses in the West Midlands.

The gang struck five times at firms including arcades and a travel agent, with masked thugs armed with hammers and knives storming in during business hours.

They would threaten and use violence against staff before demanding money, making off with thousands of pounds across the series of raids.

But a major West Midlands Police investigation has now led to the gang’s demise, under Operation Target – A major crackdown on serious and organised crime in the region.

The gang first struck on November 20, 2022, at Shipley’s arcade on West Bromwich High Street.

At around 10.20am, three masked men wielding hammers and knives stormed in, threatening customers and staff and demanding safes and cash machines are opened.

One member of staff was grabbed by the throat by a gang member and another member of staff had what he thought was a knife pressed into his back.


The gang fled with thousands of pounds.

On 2 December that year, three men entered Buzz Bingo on Kingsbury Road in Erdington, again armed with hammers and knives and threatening staff and customers, rounding them up into one area and demanding they open the safe.

When staff were unable to open the safe, the manager was attacked and the gang fled in a stolen car with money from a cash machine.

On December 20 that year, staff at Cashino on Bull Street in Birmingham city centre were again threatened by three armed men who held them hostage inside for an hour waiting for a safe’s time lock to expire before fleeing with cash in the same stolen car.








In a statement to us after the Cashino robbery, one victim said: “I wake up in the night seeing the male that grabbed me. I’ve only been out the house on my own three times since the incident and each time was a nightmare, I became really panicky each time I saw someone with a hood up. This has completely taken away my confidence.”

The gang would strike again at Co-op Travel on Union Street in Wednesbury on 22 April last year, stealing thousands of points and fleeing in a stolen Ford Focus, and again on 9 June at Cash Converters on Hawthorn Road in Kingstanding, when they were armed with knives and an axe as they stole takings.

The gang was arrested on 19 July last year after we pieced together their movements through witness evidence, CCTV, as well as the movements of mobile phones and cars.

Aaron Day, aged 36, of Charles Avenue, Rowley Regis; Liam Bell, aged 28, of Monmouth Drive, West Bromwich, Jordell Duquesney, aged 26, of Spies Lane, Halesowen, and Richard Gray, aged 42, of Holliday Street, Birmingham, all admitted conspiracy to rob.

Day and Duquesney were arrested at Day’s home. At the time, Duquesney was sat on a large black coat, with a balaclava and gloves stuffed into the sleeve.

Day was sat on a bucket hat containing a balaclava and a pair of gloves. In the living room and hidden behind a radiator were sets of number plates with double sided tape on then.

Today at Birmingham Crown Court, Day, Duquesney and Bell were each jailed for 14 years. Gray was jailed for 12 years and nine months.

DC John Marsh, from our Major Crime Proactive Unit, said today: “This was an appalling series of robberies, with violence used and threatened against people going about their business.

“The CCTV shows how weapons were brandished and people were held hostage and marched around and as the gang stole from businesses around the region.

“It’s had a lasting impact on these victims, who were left terrified but thankfully not seriously injured.

“This was a major investigation incorporating a whole host of techniques, which has resulted in these dangerous men being behind bars today.”


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