Three robbers who stole Rolex watches from victims after following their cars for up to 125 miles have been jailed for a total of 37 years.
One woman in her 50s was violently mugged when she stopped at a chip shop in her home village after being tailed for 100 miles from London.
The gang tore off her watch and rings, leaving her with severe bruising, and also took her bag and Mercedes car in the raid at Hingham, Norfolk.
Weeks later two of them followed a man from a restaurant to his home in Loughton, Essex.
He tried to run but they drove their Audi into him, hit him over the head three times with a baton and forced him to hand over his £25,000 watch outside his house.
Later the same night the pair robbed another man of his £20,000 Rolex after tailing him from East London to his home 125 miles away.
They “gratuitously” battered him on the leg with a metal baseball bat after scaling his electric gates as he parked in his drive at Belbroughton, Worcs.
The victim had just parked outside his house when three men scaled electric gates on his driveway and attacked him.
The gang was brought to justice after fingerprints were found on fake number plates fitted to a stolen car.
Freddie Aguis, 29, from Hackney, and Shane Johnson, 30, of no fixed address, were each jailed for 16 years after pleading guilty to all three robberies.
John Weaver, 35, also of Hackney admitted the Norfolk raid and was sentenced to five-and-a-half years.
The woman who was robbed branded her attackers “evil and cruel” and told Norwich Crown Court she has been left “living in fear” and would have considered suicide were it not for support from family and friends.
The woman had travelled to East London for a meeting in March 2019.
She added: “You see dreadful things on the news and crime dramas but when it is for real you cannot believe how humans can be so appalling – and for what?
“How would they feel if it happened to somebody they loved?
“They nearly suffocated me. I was out of breath.
“I thought I was going to die.”
DS Scott Malcolmson described the attack on the woman, saying: “She was just buying shopping and getting back to her car when three men approached, one man grabbed her, holding his hand over her mouth as they stole her possessions.
“This has had a long-lasting impact on her life.”
Aguis and Johnson initially denied the offences but changed their pleas to guilty after the start of their trial last year.
Weaver, also of Hackney, pleaded guilty to only the Norfolk robbery.