Published: 16:25, 24 July 2014
Two men who stole identities to carry out a string of frauds across the south of England have been jailed for a total of 30 months after their crime spree came to an end in Maidstone earlier this year.
Brandon Sakyiama-Collins was sentenced to 16 months in prison and Alvin Baffour was sentenced to 14 months after both pleaded guilty to fraud at Maidstone crown court on July 23.
Between January 6 and 11 Baffour visited jewellery stores in Bristol, Guildford, Brighton, Canterbury and Maidstone, using utility bills and debit cards obtained by getaway driver Sakyiama-Collins to try and buy expensive watches on finance.
The pair’s scheme failed on each occasion with the exception of an attempt in a store in Bristol, where a £5,300 watch, which is yet to be found, was obtained.
Baffour, 22, from Thornton Heath in Surrey and Sakyiama-Collins, 22, from Mitcham in Surrey were finally caught in the town on January 11 after shop staff became suspicious of Baffour while his application was being processed.
He left the store but was followed and detained by police officers and security staff.
Sakyiama-Collins was arrested later that day after witnessing Baffour's failed escape attempt.
The car that the pair travelled to Maidstone in was found parked in Barker Road and contained various fake utility bills.
Judge Jeremy Carey referred to their actions as a "spree of criminality" and added that he considered the fact that there were two of them using stolen identities in a pre-meditated fashion to be "aggravating factors".
Det Con Daniel Barker from Kent Police said: "Sakyiama-Collins and Baffour had put together a criminal enterprise to steal identities and then use those identities to fraudulently obtain valuable items.
"The security teams in Maidstone work really well with CCTV operators and local police officers and this was shown by security guards joining a foot chase and helping apprehend these two men, and with us ultimately bringing this case to a successful conclusion."
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