A 38-year-old robber has been jailed after stealing money from two Subway sandwich shops in Macclesfield.
Paul King, of Oak View, Liverpool, took money from the safes at Subway outlets in Tytherington Business Park and Mill Street. There were no customers in the sandwich shops when King committed the offences just three days apart.
At around 8 pm on Sunday 3 March he walked into the Subway sandwich shop on Mill Street and headed straight for the safe. King gave an employee the impression he had a weapon by putting his hand to his pocket and telling her “don’t”. He then stole a quantity of cash and left the shop on foot.
CCTV footage shows that he travelled to and from Mill Street on a mountain bike.
Three days later, at around 5 pm on Wednesday 6 March, King walked past the large window of the Subway sandwich shop at Tytherington Business Park, tried to conceal his identity using a face covering and again headed straight for the safe.
King again said “don’t” when challenged by a member of staff, who called the police as soon as he left the shop with money he had stolen from the safe. The member of staff passed the phone to a colleague and chased after King. As she began to catch up with him outside the shop, King slowed down, turned towards her and pulled out a knife with a small blade.
King then ran towards a public pathway opposite Webbs Close, jumped on a mountain bike and rode off towards Tytherington Lane. Undeterred, the shop worker returned to the Subway outlet, got in her car and drove around looking for King.
She saw him cycling on Manchester Road and forced him off his bike on Marlborough Drive after driving towards him. He then tried to flee on foot but was found soon after hiding behind a tree in a wooded area by police. There was a Subway cup by the tree and the money King had on him coincided with the cash taken from the shop.
King was arrested and later identified by a witness as being the man who stole money from the safe at the shop in Tytherington Business Park. CCTV footage shows that he travelled to the area on a mountain bike. Clothing that King was wearing when he was arrested linked him with the robbery at the shop on Mill Street.
Appearing at Chester Crown Court on Friday 5 April, King pleaded guilty to robbery in relation to the incident at the Mill Street shop.
In relation to the incidents inside and outside the Subway outlet in Tytherington Business Park, he admitted charges of theft of a person and possessing a knife in a public place.
King returned to the court to be sentenced today, Friday 3 May, where he was jailed for five years.
As well as the offences in Macclesfield, he was sentenced for the offences of shoplifting, possessing a bladed weapon (a Stanley knife) in a public place and possessing an offensive weapon (a knuckleduster) in a public place in relation to an incident at The Co-operative Food store on Speke Road in Hunt’s Cross, Liverpool, on Wednesday 5 December.
Following the sentencing, Detective Constable Craig Smith, of Macclesfield CID, said: “Motivated by a desire for money, King subjected those who were working at the sandwich shops to frightening ordeals, pulling out a knife to one member of staff and intimating that he had a weapon to another. Despite this, one of them bravely pursued King after he had stolen money from the Subway outlet she worked at and played a key role in him being caught.
“Whilst we would never encourage members of the public to take the law into their own hands, I suspect that King would have successfully fled the area had it not been for the shop worker’s intervention. Her actions enabled officers to locate King hiding in a wooded area and I am delighted that he has now been brought to justice in the form of a five-year custodial sentence.
“I hope that the sentence he has been handed brings some closure to the victims. I also hope that it serves as a deterrent to other people and stops them from committing similar crimes and I would like to thank the officers who have been involved in the investigation for all their hard work in securing this conviction.”