CCTV captures moment Crawley robber brandishes knives at shop workers

  • WATCH: CCTV of Michael Hooper committing the robberies

A man from Crawley, who was caught committing two robberies on CCTV, has been jailed.

Michael Hooper first approached an elderly man at a cash point at Sainsbury’s in Crawley Avenue, West Green, on 10 April last year and asked him for some money.

When the man refused, Hooper pushed him, snatched the cash from his hand, and ran away.

On 22 May, Hooper attempted to buy a bottle of whisky from a newsagents in Ifield Road, West Green but his card was declined.

The 43-year-old then reached over the counter and took a bottle without paying for it and ran out of the shop.

He returned just over an hour later, this time with two Stanley knives, which he brandished towards staff behind the counter.

Fearing for their safety, the staff activated the security alarm. In the meantime, Hooper again reached across the counter and this time stole two more bottles of whisky before leaving the store.

Hooper pleaded guilty to all five offences and was jailed for 44 months. Credit: Sussex police

Hooper of Leopold Road, Crawley, was arrested and charged with burglary, two counts of robbery and two counts of possession of a knife in public.

He pleaded guilty to all five offences and was sentenced to a total of 44 months in prison at Lewes Crown Court on 24 February.

Inspector Steve Turner, of the Crawley Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "While Hooper fully admitted the offences in police interview, it does not lessen the impact on the victims, who understandably feared for their own safety.

"Thankfully we were able to quickly identify him from the CCTV footage, and this demonstrates the value of our officers regularly patrolling the town and being able to recognise people of interest.

"We continue to work with partners and the community to provide education around the dangers of knife crime, and to prevent, detect and respond to any incidents. This case should serve as a reminder that we absolutely will not tolerate knife crime, and anyone caught in possession of a knife in public can expect to be dealt with robustly."