A Hemel Hempstead man has been jailed for more than five years after robbing two shops in the town.
Anthony Smith, aged 32, of Trevalga Way, was sentenced at Luton Crown Court on February 5, after pleading guilty to two counts of robbery.
The court heard how on Thursday December 5, 2019, Smith entered the Co-op store in The Heights in the Highfield area of the town. There he used a knife to threaten two members of staff.
He walked a female member of staff to the till and forced her to open it. He took hundreds of pounds in cash as well as cigarettes before running out of the store.
But Smith left his knife on the counter. This was seized by police officers and forensic tests found Smith’s DNA present on it.
The court also heard how on Saturday, December 7, Smith entered Express Wines in Henry Wells Square in the Grovehill area of the town.
He pushed a male member of staff to the ground before more than £1,000 worth of alcohol, cigarettes and cash was taken.
This time forensic testing found Smith’s DNA on the member of staff’s jumper. Officers arrested Smith 48 hours later.
During court proceedings, Smith also admitted two further robberies and one attempted robbery in Hemel in December.
These admissions were taken into consideration by the judge when sentencing Smith and he was sentenced to a total of five years and three months in prison.
Detective constable Joel Gill, from the Dacorum Local Crime Unit, led the investigation.
He said: “Smith’s despicable actions terrified three innocent people who were simply doing their jobs. They were not physically injured but they were left understandably shaken by what happened.