Armed robber who targeted car dealerships jailed for over 11 years

A robber from the north east of England, who targeted two car dealerships during his crime spree, has been jailed for 11-and-a-half years.

Andrew Ross, a former professional boxer, was part of a series of robberies and a blackmail plot in the South Tyneside region. Mr Ross, 31, raided the Whitburn post office at gunpoint and on two separate occasions he demanded cash from car dealership owners in Sunderland by damaging their vehicles, and making phone demands for money to make the vandalism stop.

Such is the high value of the goods stored on site, car dealerships are common targets for thieves. This is why it is imperative that these businesses ensure they have the best combined motor trade insurance policy possible; this will cover vehicles, the building and other valuables on the premises against the unwanted attention and potentially malicious damage of criminals.

Newcastle Crown Court heard that Mr Ross had stolen £6,000 from a hotel after holding up a night porter with a knife, before the attempted armed robbery at the post office. During his blackmail attempts against the Sunderland motor traders, he is said to have damaged 12 cars as well as the owners’ homes, “leaving families terrified”, The Shields Gazette reported.

Mr Ross was eventually arrested while he held an undercover police officer hostage. At court he admitted robbery, attempted robbery, possessing a firearm, blackmail, affray and false imprisonment – he was given an 11-and-a-half year jail sentence.