Thursday, 1 August 2013


Thief covered face with clear plastic bag

Police caught a thief after CCTV footage showed him with a clear plastic bag on his face.

A drunk thief covered his face with a transparent plastic big as he robbed a Co-Op petrol station in St Austell, Cornwall.

Jamie Neil, 41, was caught on the shop’s CCTV camera and later recognised by an off duty police officer.

During the robbery, he tried to pretend his mobile phone was a gun but was caught out when the screen lit up.

Truro Crown Court heard how Neil and his accomplice Gareth Tilley, 20, were drunk on alcohol and stolen medication when they robbed the shop on September 27 last year.

Neil was sentenced to two years in prison last week. Tilley had previously received his two year sentence.

Speaking after the hearing Detective Constable Steve White said Neil's disguise was the most "ridiculous" he had ever come across.

He said: "Before arriving at the location Tilley disguised his face using a scarf and Neil, being less resourceful, put a plastic bag on his head.

"I investigated the case with CCTV and forensic evidence used to identify the assailants."

The court heard how Tilley pointed his phone at lone shop assistant Kim Clowes, 20, and demanded cash when she realised it was not a gun and pressed an alarm.

Neil then wrestled with her before head butting her and fleeing with several bottles of spirits.

His face was easily visible through the plastic bag and a CCTV image was distributed among the police.

Two days later off-duty detective constable Lauren Holley was driving her mother home when she recognised Neil and called for backup.

Neil, of Bethel, Cornwall, was convicted of robbery last Friday and sentenced by Judge John Neligan, who praised the shop assistant's courage.

Tilley, of no fixed abode, pleaded guilty last November.

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