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Gang convicted of trying to steal £4m of gems from international jeweller

A gang has been found guilty of trying to rob a suitcase filled with £4m worth of precious gems from an international jewellery salesman.

Joseph Savoie worked for US designer Le Vian and was ambushed in a car park in the town of Staines, Surrey.

He was on his way to the Ernest Jones store to display the expensive jewels, including the company’s signature brown “chocolate diamonds”.

The men stole various items of jewellery from Mr Savoie. Pic: Surrey Police
The men stole various items of jewellery from Mr Savoie. Pic: Surrey Police

Four men attacked Mr Savoie and beat him to the ground, leaving him almost unconscious after he took the jewel-filled case from the boot of his car on 13 May 2019.

He had been tracked by the men using a Mercedes Benz with fake number plates before he was attacked. The men even stole his watch and gold necklace.

The gang then smashed through the car park barrier as they drove off.

On Friday, Lee Gardner, Camilo Carvajal, Ciro Troyano and Oscar Hicks were all found guilty at Kingston Crown Court of conspiracy to rob in the “professionally planned” operation.

The court was told how the men tracked their victim by using a notice posted on the store’s website to attract customers, and had staked out previous branches that Mr Savoie had visited.

They were found after detectives tracked mobile phone records, number plates and CCTV images, the court heard.

Police later found some of the stolen items at the defendants’ homes, as well as thousands of pounds in cash and messages that suggested they had been trying to sell their wares.

Camilo Carvajal and Ciro Troyano. Pic: Surrey Police
Camilo Carvajal and Ciro Troyano. Pic: Surrey Police

A number of items were also recovered from pawn shops, including Le Vian rings, close to where the defendants lived.

It took jurors 19 hours to deliver a majority guilty verdict against Gardner, 48, of Wood Green, north London; Carvajal, 40, of Lewisham, southeast London; Troyano, 41, of Southwark, south London and Hicks, 38, of St Leonards-on-Sea.

They will be sentenced on a day to be decided next week.

Surrey Police Detective Sergeant Kate Hyder, who investigated the case, said: “This was a professionally planned robbery, with all four defendants playing their part to pull it off.

“Unfortunately, the violent and sustained attack they inflicted on the victim has had a massive impact on his life and has caused him enormous distress.

“I hope that the guilty verdicts handed out today will provide him with some form of closure and that he can finally begin to move on with his life now that all four men have been brought to justice.”

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