Two brothers robbed a jewelery shop after disguising themselves as elderly people with “extremely realistic” latex masks and took off with a £15,000 Rolex watch.
If they hadn’t dropped the masks in the trunk of their car, they might have escaped.
Weeks after the robbery, one of the brothers was pulled over by police while driving.
Inside the car were two masks, which still bear the brothers’ DNA, and a bag containing an axe, knife and zip ties.
George Murphy-Bristow was arrested at the scene. Murphy-Bristow and his brother Benjamin Murphy were arrested separately after forensic examination of saliva in the mask.
The couple arrived at the jewelry store on Epping High Street on September 27, 2021, like double-edged old men.
These masks feature baldness and graying hair, as well as aging and wrinkled skin. Blue medical masks partially covered their faces.
In a statement, Essex Police said the masks were “very realistic”.
Gloves and a trench coat complete the camouflage. The jacket was also found in the car.
The brothers entered the store by threatening the clerk.
Once inside, they tied a staff member to a chair with cables and stole a Rolex watch from their wrist.
Wielding a knife and an axe, the pair searched the staff area before the sirens sounded and the two men escaped using a vehicle parked outside.
The brothers were jailed for a combined 31 years after a three-day trial at Basildon Crown Court.
Murphy, 37, was found guilty of robbery and two counts of possessing a sharpened object. He was sentenced to 18 years’ imprisonment.
Murphy-Bristow, 28, was found guilty of robbery, two counts of possession of a sharpened object and theft of equipment. He was sentenced to 13 years in prison.
Both brothers denied any involvement in the robbery when they first appeared at Southend-on-Sea Magistrates Court in June 2021.