Robber caught by officers as he fled scene

A jewellery shop robber who was caught minutes after the offence by two police officers on patrol has been jailed.

Imtiaz Patel, 42, had threatened a shop worker with a knife at the store in Haymarket, on the morning of Saturday 5 January this year, before running off with a Rolex watch.

But he was stopped minutes later by the officers who were concerned about his behaviour. While searching Patel, they were informed about the robbery leading to the connection being made and the defendant being arrested.

Today, at Leicester Crown Court, Patel, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to the robbery and to possession of a bladed article. He was sentenced to four years imprisonment for the robbery and nine months imprisonment for possession of the bladed article. Both sentences will run concurrently.

Patel was also sentenced to an additional two months imprisonment for breaching a community order. The total sentence handed down was four years and two months imprisonment.

Patel was wearing a dress, a Burkha and had a scarf across his face when he had entered the store last month. He was looking at a Rolex watch valued at around £7,000, when staff became concerned about the way he was acting.

Patel asked to see another watch leading to the member of staff saying she would have to put the first watch back. Patel then produced a knife and made threats to another staff member who was stood near the shop door before running off with the watch just before 9.40am.

A police constable and police community support officer were in the area on patrol in a car when they saw Patel running down Church Gate in Leicester.

Their attention was drawn to Patel and they followed him along Mansfield Street and into Short Street and saw the watch in his hand. They detained Patel to carry out a search before overhearing on their police radio about the robbery. Patel was arrested at 9.45am.

The knife, which Patel had dropped as he fled the shop, was picked up by another member of the public and taken to the shop.

Further investigative work, including CCTV analysis, led to Patel being charged the same day of the offence.

Detective Constable Anna Thorpe said: “It was thanks to the quick-thinking and excellent response of the officers on patrol that Patel was detained so quickly. Their actions of catching Patel as he left the scene of the crime left him with no choice but to admit the offence today.

“I’d also like to thank the victims of this offence for being fully co-operative with our investigation following what must have been a terrifying incident. Patel showed no concern for anyone else when he carried out this crime and the consequences of his actions could have been far worse.”

Source:: Leicestershire Police News

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