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Man threatened with knife during robbery

An investigation's underway after a man was threatened with a knife and robbed in Southampton.

The 39-year-old victim was walking along the alleyway between Mount Pleasant Road and Imperial Road on the afternoon of the 4th of September when he was approached by two men.

They demanded the victim handed over money. One of the men was holding a knife.

The victim gave them £215 in benefits that he had just collected.

“I am appealing for anyone with information about this robbery to come forward. This cutway is well used; did you pass through it that afternoon? Did you see what happened or do you recongnise the descriptions of the offenders? I would urge anyone with information to get in touch as soon as possible.”

– Detective Constable Alison Humby


Two men jailed for gunpoint robbery

Two men have been jailed for a total of 26 years after burgling a couple at gunpoint in their own home.

Ramone Barnes, 25 and of Croydon in London, and Orville Anderson, 28 and of Tulse Hill in London, were handed prison terms of 14 years and 12 years respectively at Bournemouth Crown Court today, Thursday 4 June 2015, after being convicted of aggravated burglary.

Orville Anderson has been jailed for 12 years Credit: Dorset Police
Ramone Barnes has been jailed for 14 years Credit: Dorset Police

The court heard that at about 1am on Friday 16 August 2013, four masked men smashed a patio door at the rear of a house in East Way as a couple and their two young grandchildren were asleep.

After hearing noises, the grandfather went downstairs and was confronted by the offenders who demanded to know the whereabouts of a safe. One of the men was armed with a hand gun and another with an asp baton.

The armed man ushered the grandfather back upstairs, made him sit in the bedroom and pointed the gun in his face. He threatened the victim that unless he told them where the safe was he would shoot him. However, the couple did not have a safe in their home.

The rest of the gang searched the house and left with the victims’ mobile phones. The court heard that as they left the scene, they accidentally made a call on the grandmother’s mobile phone to the last number she had dialled.

The call, which was to the victim’s daughter, went to answerphone. The recording captured people running down the road but was not good enough quality to hear what was said by Barnes, Anderson and their accomplices. The offenders left no forensic evidence at the scene but detectives traced calls made by the victims’ mobile phones.

Barnes was arrested on 20 August 2013 and Anderson on 7 January 2014 after his DNA was found in Barnes’ car.

“This was terrifying ordeal for a couple who should have been safe in their own home while they cared for their young grandchildren. Barnes and Anderson planned and executed the burglary as a group and I hope the strong sentences handed out today will act as a warning that crimes such as this are taken very seriously by the courts. The burglary has had a lasting effect on the family and they have had to move. Despite all they have gone through, they have stayed strong and shown a great deal of courage and determination.”

– Detective Constable James Taylor, of Bournemouth CID

Man in court over post office robbery

The store was targeted by robbers on 31st March Credit: ITV Meridian

A man has been charged in connection with an armed robbery at a village post office in Kent.

Two men reportedly reportedly carrying a gun targeted the post office in Aldington last month. on the 31st of March.

Ryan Steven Price, who's twenty four and from Rectory Road in St Mary in the Marsh, is due before magistrates.

Police hunt masked man after armed robbery in Margate

Police are appealing for information about this man after an armed robbery Credit: Kent Police

Police are trying to trace a masked man who robbed a Margate convenience store with a suspected firearm and made off with cash from the till.

They've now released CCTV images of a man they'd like to speak to.

It is believed that at 9.50pm on Tuesday 9 December, a man walked into Lawrence General Stores in St John’s Road carrying an item shaped like a firearm wrapped in a black plastic bag.

He then ordered the member of staff to go into back room and stay there. When the staff member returned, a quantity of cash from the till had been taken.

The man threatened a staff member before making off with cash Credit: Kent Police

The suspect was described as fat, and was wearing a dark grey hooded top, light grey woollen gloves, dark jeans and light grey footwear.

His face was covered by a balaclava but it is believed he spoke with an English accent.

"Although the suspect did not hurt the member of staff, it was obviously quite frightening to be confronted in such a way. We would like to hear from anyone who might recognise the man featured in the CCTV image and urge them to get in touch."

– Investigating officer Detective Constable Michael Freeman

Anyone with information is asked to contact Kent Police on 01843 222289 quoting reference number ZY/40101/14.

Gang jailed for violent robbery

An armed gang who carried out a violent robbery on a jewellers in the New Forest have been jailed for a total of 27 years.

The raid on the shop in Lymington took place in October last year. Police tracked the three robbers across Europe to Romania.

At a trial earlier this year in Bournemouth - a jury found a man alleged to be the fourth member of the gang not-guilty of being involved. Richard Slee reports.


Armed robber who used make-up as disguise jailed

David Bentley has been sentenced to 28 years in prison Credit: Kent Police

Armed robber who used make-up in his disguises sentenced to 28 years in prison for targeting travel agents.

A man who tried to disguise himself with make-up to rob several travel agents has been sentenced to 28 years in prison today.

David Bentley, 54, previously of Court Road in Orpington, subjected staff and customers at travel agents in Tonbridge, Folkestone, Surrey and Lincolnshire to terrifying ordeals while he brandished what they thought was a firearm at them.

In the first incident, on Saturday 27 April 2013 he entered the Thompson travel agents in High Street, Tonbridge. He waved what a female member of staff thought was gun at a and demanded she fill a bag he had with money from the till.

This amounted to more than £7,000. CCTV images showed him escaping in a blue Citroen Picasso, using false number plates, which was later to be identified as being driven by his partner Justyna Pietrzak, 29 from Palmer Road, Gravesend.

The second incident occurred on Wednesday 12 June when he stole more than £21,000 from the Thompson travel agents in Church Street, Folkestone. He entered the store again with what his victims thought was a gun.

A customer walked into the store but when she tried to leave he grabbed hold of her and made her stay in the store.

On Monday 8 July, Bentley stole more than £15,000 in cash and travellers cheques from a Thomas Cook travel agents in Surrey. He again brandished a what was believed to be a firearm and threated members of staff and customers. Witnesses saw him leave in a silver Ford Focus, being driven by a woman, again later identified as Pietrzak.

On Thursday 26 September, Bentley entered the Thompson travel agents in Lincolnshire and again threatened staff with a weapon. But this time the panic alarm was activated. He was seen to drive off in a Honda CRV.

Officers in Lincolnshire later carried out a stop check on the car and arrested Pietrzak. Links were established to Bentley and a warrant was then carried out at his home address in Court Road, Orpington. During the warrant Bentley drove into the parking area of the property in a blue Citroen Picasso, displaying false number plates.

When officers searched Pietrzak’s home in Palmer Avenue, Gravesend, they found a cosmetic box containing makeup.

Other enquiries found that Bentley had been ordering various number plates, later identified as used by the vehicles in the robberies.

But following a trial at Maidstone Crown Court, Bentley was found guilty of four counts of robbery and four counts of possession of an imitation firearm. Pietrzak was found guilty of four counts of robbery and acquitted of firearms charges on 15 September.

On 17 October, Pietrzak was given a suspended sentence for her roles in the robberies.

"Bentley was determined to steal money from these travel agents and prepared to go to great lengths to do so and get away with it. He travelled great distances to carry out the offences, made use of make-up and disguises to cover his tracks and used false number plates on his vehicles. He didn’t care for his victims – subjecting them to terrifying ordeals, the effects of which they still have to live with to this day. But thanks to the hard work of our investigation team and the courage of the victims and witness, Bentley has been brought to justice and I’m pleased the jury found him guilty. Bentley and his partner Pietrzak thought they could get away with daylight robbery, but we’ve shown today that crime doesn’t pay."

– Detective Constable Scott Winteridge

Shop worker threatened with a hammer

A shop worker has been threatened with a hammer during an armed robbery in Bournemouth.

Police have released these CCTV images following the incident at the Ladbrokes store on Christchurch Road last night. The offender left with cash.

Police have released this CCTV image in connection with the robbery Credit: Dorset Police

The offender's been described as white, aged in his mid-thirties, about five feet nine inches tall with short black hair. He was wearing a white shirt with a black pin-striped suit jacket and jeans. He was also carrying a computer style bag.

Nobody was injured during the incident.

Police have released this CCTV image in connection with the robbery Credit: Dorset Police

Man armed with small axe robs shop in Bicester

Thames Valley Police is appealing for witnesses following a robbery in Bicester yesterday on Thursday.

Shortly after 8.30pm the offender entered a Coral Racing shop in Wesley Lane.

The man was carrying a small axe and demanded money. A member of staff handed the man a quantity of cash and he then ran away.

The offender is white, of medium build and had his face covered with a red scarf. He was wearing a dark grey hooded top with the hood up.

A 22-year-old man from Carterton was arrested in connection with the incident and currently remains in police custody.

I am appealing for anyone with any information about the incident or anyone who saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area at the time to contact police. We have launched an investigation and we arrested a man in connection with the incident shortly afterwards. Officers will also be conducting extra patrols in the area so if anybody in the community does have any information, or any concerns, please speak to an officer or alternatively contact your local Neighbourhood Team on 101.”

– Det Insp John Turner, of Oxford Force CID

Two men jailed for armed robberies

Two men from Blandford have been sent to prison for ten years and seven years respectively for committing armed robbery at two post offices in north Dorset and Somerset.

Andrew Hunt and Miles Halahan, 43 and 54, were convicted and sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court for the offences of robbery at the Post Office in Milborne Port in Somerset and at the Post Office in Bishop’s Caundle in Dorset.

Hunt was sentenced to a total of ten years in prison.

Andrew Hunt was jailed for his part in armed robberies Credit: Dorset Police
Miles Halahan was jailed for his part in an armed robbery Credit: Dorset Police

Halahan was found not guilty for the first robbery at Milborne Port, but was found guilty of robbery in Bishop’s Caundle.

The court heard evidence that on 15 July 2013 Hunt entered the post offices with a hand gun, believed to be an air pistol, and demanded money.

At the post office in Milborne Port, Hunt was challenged by the post master and made off empty handed. At the post office in Bishops Caundle he was handed cash and escaped in a vehicle parked nearby. The getaway car was owned and driven by Halahan.

A witness to the second robbery noted the registration number of the vehicle which led to the arrest of both Hunt and Halahan a short time later on the same day.

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