TWO men who were caught redhanded after committing an armed robbery at a Warrington town centre shop, have both been jailed.
David Holt and Simon Baker, both of O’Leary Street in Warrington, stole a quantity of cash and a mobile phone from a Cash Generator store in Bridge Street.
They went into the shop together at around 11am on Monday 19 October. Both were wearing face coverings.
Holt, 45, was armed with a kitchen knife. He pointed it at people working at the store and demanded cash from the safe and the till.
Baker, 51, stayed by the door preventing anyone from entering or leaving the shop.
After being given money from the till by one of the store’s workers and stealing an iPhone that was being prepared for sale, Holt headed towards the door.
He and Baker then left the store before fleeing the area in a Volkswagen Beetle that was parked nearby.
The police were called and officers managed to locate the offenders at Holt’s flat around half-an-hour after the pair had committed the robbery.
A town centre CCTV operator played a key role in that, by finding footage of the pair’s getaway and giving officers details of the car they fled in.
It was parked outside Baker’s flat. He and Holt were inside the premises.
They were wearing the same clothing that they had on when they committed the robbery, and cash they stole from the store was on the floor at the flat and in Baker’s trouser pocket.
The mobile phone they stole was also in the flat, behind a sofa that Holt was sat on. Officers saw him throw it there in an attempt to hide it.
Also in the flat was the kitchen knife that Holt was armed with during the robbery and the keys to the VW Beetle.
Officers used the keys to open the car, which contained the stolen mobile phone’s cover.
Holt and Baker were both arrested at the flat and taken into custody to be interviewed.
Holt admitted the role he played in the robbery when he was questioned by officers, expressing remorse for his actions and claiming that he acted in desperation for money to buy drugs.
He was subsequently charged with robbery and possession of a knife in a public place and pleaded guilty to both offences at Liverpool Crown Court on Tuesday 20 October.
Baker denied being involved in the incident.
He was charged with robbery and was found guilty of the offence at Liverpool Crown Court on Monday 12 April, following a three-day trial.
The pair returned to the court to be sentenced on Wednesday 16 June.
Holt was jailed for four years and Baker was handed a seven prison sentence, plus three years on extended licence.
Detective Constable Jill Peggs, who led the investigation at Warrington Local Policing Unit, said: “David Holt and Simon Baker worked together to commit the armed robbery.
“As a result of their actions, the people who were inside the store that day were subjected to a terrifying ordeal.
“Holt pointed the kitchen knife he was armed with at members of staff whilst demanding cash.
“The incident understandably left them extremely shaken up.
“Thankfully, with the help of a town centre CCTV operator, we were able to locate Holt and Baker around half-an-hour after they had committed the robbery.
“We caught them red-handed and were able to recover the cash and the mobile phone that they stole.
“I hope the fact the pair have now been jailed gives those who were in the store during the robbery some closure and provides reassurance to the Warrington community.
“With Holt blaming his actions on an addiction to drugs, this case highlights the fact that illegal drugs blight our communities, causing untold damage to both those who use them and the wider society who suffer from the resulting crime.
“Hopefully this case will deter others from using illegal drugs and committing such offences.”
Chief Inspector Sarah Heath, Cheshire Constabulary’s knife crime lead, added: “We are committed to doing all we can to tackle knife crime.
“We will respond robustly to any knife related incidents and do all we can to ensure that anyone found to be carrying a knife or committing a knife related offence is brought to justice.
“Members of the public also have a vital role to play in our fight against knife crime by giving us information about crimes involving knives and those who carry weapons.”
To report any type of crime involving weapons call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, or 999 in an emergency.
Information can also be passed to the force online via https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ro/report or given to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.