Three robbers have been sent to prison after they threatened workers and stole goods from two shops in Broadstairs and Whitstable.
Zyon Elsom and Kane Sampson admitted two counts of robbery, possession of an offensive weapon and possession of a knife. A jury found Neil Clarke guilty of the same offences following a trial at Canterbury Crown Court.
The robberies took place days apart with the first at a Premier Store in Queens Road, Broadstairs, on Tuesday 9 March 2021.
During this incident, at around 7.30pm, a shop worker was threatened with a knife and assaulted. The thieves demanded money from the till and filled a bag with alcohol, cash and tobacco before fleeing.
The robbery was reported to Kent Police and officers were given descriptions of the offenders, CCTV was reviewed and house-to-house enquiries were carried out.
The second offence was at a post office in Joy Lane, Whitstable, on Friday 12 March 2021 at around 3pm. During this incident, a hammer was used to terrify a staff member. The weapon was slammed down onto the woman’s hand, holding her in place at the counter whilst the other men grabbed packets of cigarettes and pouches of tobacco. The victim also had her mobile phone snatched just before the emergency alarm was activated and the robbers ran away.
Police patrols spotted the three men in a car near to the A299 in Ramsgate shortly after the robbery. The suspects were pursued, then they ran from their vehicle but were chased on foot and caught in a nearby field.
Officers found the hammer and clothes that were worn during the offences following the search of their car and a property. They were arrested and charged.
All three were sentenced at Canterbury Crown Court on Friday 4 March 2022.
- Clarke, 38, of Paragon in Ramsgate, was given an eight-year, eight-month sentence.
- Elsom, 20, of no fixed address was given a four-year jail term.
- Sampson 21, of no fixed address, also received a four-year prison sentence.
Detective Sergeant Jay Robinson from the Chief Constable’s Crime Squad said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for the victims who were simply doing their jobs and should not expect to suffer such violence at the hands of criminals like these three. They are a danger to society and will clearly go to great lengths to commit violent crimes with absolutely no regard for their victims.
“We are pleased all three have been given prison sentences and that a jury saw through Clarke’s lies. He is a prolific offender and I hope the local community will rest a little easier knowing these men will be behind bars for a considerable amount of time.”