Two men have been jailed for a combined ten years after setting up false meet ups on online marketplaces in order to rob their victims
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This sentencing comes as part of part of GMP’s Operation Valiant – a dedicated operation set up by Greater Manchester Police to reduce the number of personal robberies across Greater Manchester and keep the community and their belongings safe.
Between 6 September 2020 and 11 October 2020, the group carried out five robberies and one attempt robbery across Levenshulme and Gorton, creating fake profiles on online marketplaces to trick the victims into meeting up with them under the pretence of buying and selling phones.
On one occasion, Vandevelde and an unknown man - met with the victim in Gorton under the pretence that they were going to buy an IPhone XS. When the victim attended the meet location the offenders produced a large kitchen knife which they threatened the victim with, holding it to his neck and stomach, before demanding his phone and cash which the victim handed over.
In one incident, the victim had agreed to sell his iPhone and was with his pregnant wife when he was approached by two men - one of which was Arshad - who produced a knife and stole his phone.
The final robbery was in October 2020 when two teenagers - aged 18 and 16 - were contacted by the group online, using a fake profile created by Schwan, under the pretence that they wanted to buy an iPhone 11. On arrival at the meet location in Levenshulme, the teenagers were approached by Vandevelde and Arshad. The 18-year-old, who was holding the iPhone in his hand, turned and started to run whilst being chased by the pair. The victims dropped their phone and wallet and the 18-year-old dropped his watch to the floor during a brief struggle. All the items were stolen by the pair.
On Thursday 17 February 2022 at Manchester Crown Court Nana Vandevelde (10/11/2002) of Penroyson Close was jailed for five years and six months after pleading guilty to four counts of robbery and one attempt robbery.
Ayomide Schwan (17/05/2003) of Mulgrove Walk, Blackley was also sentenced yesterday and received a 22 month sentence suspended for two years. He was also given 250 hours unpaid work after pleading guilty to one count of robbery.
Zane Arshad (18/03/200) of Slade Grove, Longsight was previously sentenced in October 2021 and was jailed for four years and six months after pleading guilty to two counts of robbery.
DC Leon Cawley-Bowyer, of GMP's Operation Valiant, said: "This group are calculated and manipulative, planning their robberies in advance and using fake online profiles to deceive their victims into meeting with them and even threatening a number of their victims at knifepoint.
"This behaviour will absolutely not be tolerated in Greater Manchester and our Operation Valiant Team is committed to stopping offending such as this and investigating all offences thoroughly to ensure that offenders such as these face the consequences for their actions.
"Hopefully today's sentencing gives these men the time they need to reflect on their actions and the terror that they put their innocent victims through in order to profit from their own selfishness."