A robber who climbed into a woman’s car while she was stopped at traffic lights and stole her handbag has been jailed.
Simon Boswell, 34, of Winchester Way, Rainham, also took a man’s wallet in a separate incident just days later.
He was sentenced to three years and four months at Maidstone Crown Court earlier today having pleaded guilty to two counts of robbery at an earlier hearing.
The court heard how on Monday, May 2 at about 9.45pm, Boswell opened the door of a car which had stopped at traffic lights on Chatham Hill, Gillingham, at the junction with Rock Avenue.
He grabbed the driver’s handbag and tried to wrestle it away from her, and then climbed into the vehicle when the lights turned green and she began to drive away.
The woman pulled over a short distance further and shouted at Boswell to take the handbag and get out.
He then left the scene in possession of the bag, which contained a tablet computer, a purse and various other items.
"Boswell clearly poses a risk to members of the public and is better off behind bars where he can cause no further harm." - DC Ian Mather
Later that week, on Saturday, May 7, Boswell followed a customer out of a petrol station on Nelson Road, Gillingham, and attempted to snatch his wallet on the forecourt.
He then made off with £40 cash following a brief struggle which left the victim with cuts and bruises and he required hospital treatment.
Boswell was identified through CCTV footage of the incident and arrested at his home three days later.
He was charged and remanded in custody, and was later linked to the previous robbery on Chatham Hill through DNA evidence left in the victim’s car.
DC Ian Mather, who investigated the case, said: “Boswell is an opportunistic thief who needs no invitation to take items that do not belong to him.
“He does not discriminate against his victims and is equally at home robbing a man on a petrol forecourt as he is climbing into a woman’s car while she is driving alone at night.
“Boswell clearly poses a risk to members of the public and is better off behind bars where he can cause no further harm.
“I would like to take this opportunity to remind motorists to be mindful of their surroundings at all times and take whatever precautions are necessary to prevent them becoming a victim of crime.
“By taking simple measures such as keeping doors locked and valuables out of sight, you can significantly reduce the chances of being targeted by would-be thieves like Boswell.”