Stansted Robbery

Two armed criminals who used an imitation firearm and a knife to rob a Jet service station have been jailed for a combined 11 years.  

Stansted robbery 20240301 Grant BOLDEN

Grant Bolden

The frightening robbery took place last year when two men - Jack Knight, 44, and Grant Bolden, 39 - were captured on CCTV entering the forecourt shop in Cambridge Road, Stansted Mountfitchet, at 10.35pm on September 27.

Knight was seen to immediately point a handgun at the cashier as he advanced towards the counter. Accomplice Bolden brandished a knife as he leapt over the counter to demand money and cigarettes.

The footage shows the pair leave the shop a short time later, having stolen cigarettes worth more than £900.

The incident was reported to the Essex police by the manager of the service station and a thorough investigation was then carried out by its Serious and Organised Crime Unit (SOCU) which led to the convictions.

As part of ongoing enquiries, a CCTV appeal was issued via Essex police social media and Bolden was identified as one of the people pictured. Further work by officers, including analysis of the clothes the suspects were seen to wear, identified both Bolden and Knight as the perpetrators. Analysis of mobile phones attributed to the pair showed incriminating messages further revealing their involvement.

During one exchange, texts on a phone attributed to Bolden saw a number of packets of cigarettes offered up for sale, reading: “I want £300 for them all. For 44 packs that’s a bargain.”

Officers executed two warrants at addresses linked to Bolden and Knight on October 20, arresting both suspects. At Knight’s address, officers recovered a black handgun – later established to be an air gun – matching the description of the weapon used in the offence.

They each admitted a charge of robbery at Chelmsford Crown Court.  Knight, of Flitch Green, Dunmow, was jailed for four-and-a-half years when he appeared before a judge on March 7. Appearing at the same court on Thursday May 9, Bolden, of Hunters Way, Saffron Walden, was jailed for seven years.

Bolden was also sentenced for separate offences committed in May 2023.

Detective Sergeant David Crane, of SOCU, said: “This was a deeply unsettling and frightening incident for the victim, who had no reason to believe the pistol pointed at their head wasn’t a viable firearm. Knight and Bolden used weapons to target a service station, all in the name of stealing cash and cigarettes.

Stansted robbery 20240301 Jack KNIGHT

Jack Knight

“The seriousness of their offending was matched by the determination of our team to find them and bring them to justice. We were able to irrefutably link both offenders to this offence, leaving them with no choice but to plead guilty. 

“They will both rightly spend a considerable term behind bars.”