Jason Stowers, 29, jailed after robbing Canterbury's Coral bookmakers armed with a kitchen knife
Jason Stowers thought he had got away with the perfect crime when he robbed a bookies in Wincheap.
Dressed in a balaclava and motorcycle helmet - and discreetly hiding a kitchen knife from customers – he had quietly demanded staff put cash into a bag.
Then he calmly walked out, climbed on to his waiting motor scooter, carrying stolen plates, and rode away.
Stowers robbed the Coral bookmakers in Wincheap
But the bungling thief, who thought his low-level heist had gone unnoticed by everyone but the cashier, had misjudged one eagle-eyed punter at the Coral shop.
The customer – thinking Stowers’ appearance slightly odd – followed him outside and took a note of the registration number and details of the bike and Stowers.
And Canterbury Crown Court heard how despite changing the plates again after leaving with £110 in stolen fivers, police stopped him and discovered him still carrying number plate screws.
That landed Stowers, 29, of Strangers Lane, Canterbury, with a three-year jail sentence after he admitted robbery, having a knife and theft of the number plates.
Jason Stowers has been jailed for robbing a bookmakers
Prosecutor Nicholas Moore told how the thief had gone to the bookies in the early evening of May 31 this year.
“This defendant walked inside wearing a balaclava with a motor cycle helmet on top. He went straight up to the cash desk and addressed a cashier.
“He had a large knife and said simply: “Put the money in the bag” before handing over a black bag, “ he added.
Cashier Joshua Green, “being somewhat intimidated”, put £110 in five-pound notes in the bag – and Stowers took it and just coolly walked out of the shop.
Mr Moore added: “Fortunately a customer in the shop had noticed that something was untoward, decided to go outside and take a look at the robber. He watched him get onto a black motor scooter and rode off.
“The eagle-eyed customer noted the registration number, “ he added.
The court heard the number plate had been stolen earlier from a motorbike parked at Whitstable train station.
Stowers was arrested a short while later with £65 in fivers in his pocket and then searched and had yellow number plate screws in his back pocket.
Peter Alcock, defending, said Stowers, formerly of Foads Hill, Ramsgate, “is remorseful and takes full responsibility for his actions”.
Judge Adele Williams told him he had used a knife to threaten staff during the robbery – and had previous convictions, including for an attack with an iron bar in 2007.
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