A man has been sentenced to six years in prison after pleading guilty to knifepoint robberies across Bedford.
Christopher Powell, 32, of no fixed abode, was sentenced on Wednesday, March 17 at Luton Crown Court for three counts of robbery and two counts of possession of a bladed article.
On January 11, Powell entered a shop in Greenhill Street, Bedford, where he threatened staff by telling them he had a knife before making off with tobacco and a bottle of beer.
On January 20, Powell entered a shop on Avon Drive, Bedford, and threatened staff with a knife for money. He forced himself behind the counter, where he opened the till and made off with £190 worth of cash.
On January 24, he entered a store in Brickhill Drive, Bedford, headed straight to a till, and opened it whilst staff were elsewhere. When he was challenged, he pushed the staff members out of the way before making off with £140 in cash.
Powell was identified as the offender after he was the subject of an unrelated Stop and Search and was recognised from the CCTV footage at the Greenhill Street store.
Detective Constable Karl Heywood, investigating, said: “I am glad Powell will spend a lengthy time behind bars, and I want to thank a number of officers who helped secure extensive CCTV footage which assisted with identifying him.
“This was a traumatic incident for all involved and nobody should be confronted in this way while they are at work.
“I hope the sentence he received sends a clear message that this kind of activity won’t be tolerated and isn’t acceptable, and I hope Powell will use the time in prison to reflect on his actions.”
Powell received four years for one count of robbery, six years for the second count of robbery, three years for the third count of robbery and one year for one count of possession on a bladed article, all to run concurrently.