Kanaleneiland jewelry store robbers could get 9 year sentence

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The public prosecution office has requested a prison sentence of nine years for the two men who committed a violent robbery on “De Vries” jewelry store in Kanaleneiland last year.

21 year old Noureddine A. and 22 year old Bilal S. stood in front of a judge this Tuesday. The men threatened multiple people with firearms and sprayed the jeweler with pepper spray during the robbery. In their flight they shot a bystander in the leg who was trying to stop them while a 3 year old girl was standing around.

The prosecution says that the attempted manslaughter charges are being dropped because the robbers purposefully aimed for the legs. That’s why the charge is robbery with grave molestation. The prosecution thinks that society should be protected against these individuals because the chance of repetition is high. Therefore the requested sentence is rather high in proportion to the crime.

The two suspects left several traces during their flight such as a broken off fender. Also, weapons and a hood were found. On top of that, the suspects spoke on the phone about the loot (87.000 euro’s in jewelry), while they were being wiretapped.

A neighbor, that allowed the fugitives to lay low at his house, was also wiretapped. Friends dropped the suspects like bricks and wouldn’t harbor them. “They can sleep at Hoog Catherijne. Wolla they’re sick,” is a quote from one of the phone conversations the police intercepted.

The men called upon their right to remain silent this Tuesday and stood through the trial showing no emotion. The men are both ringleaders of a known group of troublemakers in the area. The prosecution office defines them as “hardened criminals, that don’t shrink from anything.”

From the victims statement it appears that the jeweler is still dealing with the consequences of the robbery every day. He often suffers from burning eyes due to the pepper spray. His wife sleeps bad and has nightmares about the incident. De Vries has closed his business and made a fresh start in Maarssen. He has received a lot of support from the Moroccan community after the robbery, which has done him a lot of good.

An anonymous witness has made a incriminating statement, but the lawyer of one of the suspects doesn’t take this witness seriously. “She has made very contradictory statements about what she has seen. Therefore she is not a reliable witness.”

The lawyer also says that it is unclear whether the DNA that has been found really belongs to the perpetrator. According to him it could also be mixed with somebody else’s DNA.

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Jan van Aardenne

My name is Jan van Aardenne and I am an author for Utrecht Central.

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