A gang of armed thieves who tried to rob Arsenal stars Mezut Ozil and Sead Kolasinac of their £200,000 watches have been jailed for more than 100 years.
The eight men, who carried knives, machetes and firearms, terrorised wealthy north London neighbourhoods with a string of violent robberies between April 2019 and July 2020.
They wore masks as they broke into luxury homes and ambushed people in their cars before demanding they hand over jewellery and cash, often at knifepoint.
One of the gang, Jordan Northover, 28, had attempted to rob two Arsenal stars of their £200,000 watches at the point of a knitting needle on July 25, 2019.
Sead Kolasinac, 27, was a passenger in teammate Mesut Ozil’s black Mercedes G-Class jeep when they were ambushed in Hampstead, northwest London.
CCTV footage shows Bosnian defender Kolasinac, known as ‘The Tank’, jumping out of the passenger seat of Ozil’s £165,000 4×4 to fight off Northover who prods him with the needle.
Sead Kolasinac (muzzed by police) turns to face the moped gang trying to rob him and Mesut Ozil for their £200,000 watches and didn’t flinch as he tried to beat them up despite the knife
But Kolasinac didn’t flinch, instead squaring up to the thugs – who arrived at a moped – and attempting to knock them out before jumping back inside the vehicle.
Ozil, 32, who earned £350,000 per-week at Arsenal, sped away down the wrong side of a road in Childs Hill following the attack on July 25 and took refuge at a Turkish restaurant.
Northover was previously handed a six-year sentence for the attempted robbery.
The gang of eight were sentenced at Harrow Crown Court on Monday and Tuesday following the campaign of violence.
Mesut Ozil (dyed blonde hair) was pictured talking to officers outside Turkish restaurant Likya on Golders Green Road in North London after the attack last summer
They are understood to have committed around 20 offences in total.
In one terrifying raid, five masked men armed with a knife smashed open the door of an 80-year-old woman’s bedroom and demanded she told them where her safe was.
They smashed her wardrobes and forced her to the floor on May 19, but eventually left when the horrified victim confessed she did not have a lock box.
On April 10 last year, a driver was waiting in his car when a machete was forced through the window. He ran from his car but was chased, threatened and made to hand over his Rolex.
And in June, a woman was at home with her two children in Golders Green when two burglars wearing balaclavas forced entry with a crowbar.
She tried to deter them from entering by holding up her phone saying that she was calling the police and then ran and hid upstairs as the raiders stole the keys to her black Audi.
Five of the gang struck again the next day in St John’s Wood, forcing open the victim’s locked bedroom door.
They ordered him to hand over cash and jewellery at knifepoint but he told them he had lost his belongings in a previous raid.
He was threatened with a gun before the gang fled as police arrived.
Two days later on July 16, four members of the gang terrorised a couple when they forced their way into a home in Brondesbury Park through a bathroom window.
The occupants awoke to find the masked men in their bedroom and were forced to open their safe after one of them threatened to ‘go and see’ a daughter who was sleeping next door.
Pictured: Jordan Northover, 28, who was jailed for six years for attempted robbery
Detectives had them under observation and watched on July 19 as four masked members of the gang carried out a burglary in Barnet Gate.
The raiders set off an alarm and fled empty handed in an Audi they had stolen in the previous Golders Green burglary.
Just over thirty minutes later, detectives watching them in an unmarked car in Hampstead were astonished as gang members approached the vehicle, intent on robbing them.
Officers called in reinforcements when the gang used a metal bar in an attempt to smash the car window.
The four raiders sped off in a stolen car with a police helicopter giving chase and they were all arrested nearby.