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A Liverpool man who stole diamond rings worth over £20,000 but was caught by officers on the motorway has been jailed for five years.
Michael Kerwin, 34, of Kilshaw Street, Liverpool, entered Ernest Jones on Goalgate Street in Stafford at around 11am on 16 January and snatched two diamond rings worth almost £8,000 off a member of staff before punching another employee on his way out of the store.
He then ran away through the town centre and despite members of the public’s attempts to grab him, Kerwin made off in a vehicle before he was stopped and arrested by officers from Central Motorway Police Group at M6 Keele services around two hours later.
Kerwin had also stolen a diamond ring worth £7,500 from H&T Pawnbrokers in St Helens, Merseyside on 16 December 2019 and two others from F Hinds in St Johns Precinct in Liverpool on 20 December 2019.
The 34-year-old was sentenced at Stafford Crown Court on Friday (21 February) after pleading guilty to two counts of robbery, theft from a shop and assault by beating. He was jailed for five years for the Stafford offence, and two and three years for the Merseyside offences and four months for assault by beating to run concurrently.
Detective Constable Steve Windridge, from force CID, said: “Kerwin tricked members of staff into thinking he was genuinely interested in purchasing a high value diamond ring but instead he snatched one and made off without paying and ran through the town centre.
“We’re grateful to the military personnel and members of the public who showed incredible bravery in trying to stop Kerwin and chased him to his waiting vehicle despite being threatened not to.
“Thanks to their determination, his vehicle was identified and officers from CMPG tracked him to some services where he was arrested soon after. As a result, we were able to recover the stolen rings and return them to the store”.