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A man has been jailed following a knife-point robbery at a shop in Crawley.
Craig Baker entered the Co-Op in Ifield Drive in possession of a 10-inch kitchen knife and demanded that a member of staff behind the counter hand over cash.
She refused and was able to activate the security alarm.
In the meantime, a second member of staff became aware of what was happening and attempted to intervene.
In response to this, Baker hit him in the face. He then forced his way behind the counter and stole two bottles of vodka.
As he left the store, he threatened a customer whilst still holding the knife.
Officers including armed units responded to the scene of the incident on 13 November last year and fingerprints were recovered from the till area. The prints matched those belonging to Baker, 43, of no fixed address.
He was subsequently arrested and charged with two counts of robbery, possession of a knife in public and threatening a person with a knife in public.
In police interview he confessed: “I didn’t mean to do anything naughty… You guys have done the right thing getting me off the streets”.
Baker was remanded in custody and pleaded guilty to all offences.
At Lewes Crown Court on 10 February, he was sentenced to a total of 32 months’ imprisonment.
Investigating officer, Detective Constable Catherine Richardson, said: “Baker committed these offences whilst brandishing a large kitchen knife, causing a number of people including staff and customers to fear for their lives.
“Thanks to the swift actions of the staff, who activated the store alarm, we were able to quickly respond to the scene and ensure no one had been seriously hurt.
“Forensics investigators took prints from the store, which led to the identification and arrest of Baker within 24 hours.
“This case demonstrates that our officers are on hand to respond to reports of threats and violence, including knife crime, as we strive to keep communities safe and bring offenders to justice.”