Men jailed for series of armed raids on shops


Two men who terrorised shop owners with a series of armed robberies, including the Co-Op at Bird’s Hill, Heath and Reach, were sentenced to almost 20 years in prison on Thursday.

Scott Cerqua, 36, of Hitchin Road, Luton, was found guilty of 10 counts of conspiring to commit robbery following a trial at Luton Crown Court last week.

Scott Cerqua

Scott Cerqua

George McAward, 32, of The Mall, Dunstable, pleaded guilty to 10 counts of conspiring to commit robbery.

Cerqua will face 10 years imprisonment and McAward received a sentence of nine years and nine months.

Det Insp Jackie Dadd said: “This was a difficult case which saw 10 armed robberies in two weeks take place across Luton and the surrounding area. Our team worked incredibly hard to identify those responsible .

The 10 robberies took place from Saturday, February 28 to Tuesday, March 10. The Heath and Reach incident took place on March 8. The men entered at about 9.30pm, threatened staff with what appeared to be a piece of wood, before stealing money, cigarettes, and alcohol.

George McAward

George McAward

DI Dadd continued: “These robberies were very distressing for the shop staff, many of whom were threatened at knife point, so I hope that this result will often some comfort and closure for them.”

The ten robberies were:

• Tuesday 10 March, Poynters Road, Dunstable

• Sunday 8 March, Bird’s Hill, Heath and Reach

• Saturday 7 March, Albert Road, Luton

• Friday 6 March, Common Road, Kensworth

• Tuesday 3 March, Albert Road, Luton

• Sunday 1 March, High Street South, Dunstable

• Sunday 1 March, Markygate Road, Slip End

• Sunday 1 March, Wellington Street, Luton

• Sunday 1 March, Common Road, Kensworth

• Saturday 28 February, Albert Road, Luton