Thieves have been sent to prison after carrying out a robbery in which they threatened and stole from an elderly man in Folkestone.

Richard Collins and Craig Dunn

Kent Police was alerted to the incident at The Leas at around 10.20am on Tuesday 11 July 2023. The victim, a man in his 70s, was robbed of his bag which contained more than £2,200 in cash after he had just withdrawn money from a bank in Sandgate Road.

The robbers, Craig Dunn and Richard Collins, were also at the bank and witnessed the victim place his money inside his bag and followed him out of the building and along the street. When the victim noticed he was being followed, he turned around and made his way back towards the bank. It was then that Collins, 39, ran at him, threatened him with his fist clenched and claimed he would beat him unless he handed over his bag.

At first the victim refused, but Collins threatened him again and this time Dunn, 30, moved in and grabbed the bag with such force it snapped the handles, then they ran away laughing.

Local patrols from the Folkestone Beat Team were already in the area and on hearing the report and the description of the men, carried out urgent enquiries to locate the individuals.

Drone helped track suspects

Two people were spotted acting suspiciously and when they saw police they ran in the direction of Ingles Road. The Kent Police drone was used with the help of officers from the Neighbourhood Task Force who assisted in tracking down the men and they were found hiding in some bushes in Cheriton Road. They had managed to change the clothes they were wearing and had taken off their t-shirts in the hope they wouldn’t be recognised.

PD Cloud
Police Dog Cloud

The pair were arrested whilst Police Dog Cloud sniffed out the evidence that helped secure their conviction. The dog found the victim’s bag hidden behind a hedge and other items, including the stolen cash, that had been concealed inside some airbricks behind a bush. Dunn’s driving licence was found in amongst the stash.

This evidence accompanied by CCTV and other video footage led to the pair admitting to a charge of robbery.

They both appeared at Canterbury Crown Court on Thursday 24 August 2023, where Collins from Ramsgate, was sentenced to four years and six months – which included a second charge of robbery in Ramsgate in October 2022. Dunn, from Dover, was sentenced to two years and eight months.

Investigating officer, PC Felicity Pilcher, said: ‘Officers in Folkestone worked together quickly to catch this pair red-handed. They were in handcuffs within less than an hour of the report being made, and officers were able to get the property back to the victim who was incredibly shaken up from the ordeal.

‘Kent Police will continue to seek out those intent on committing crime and causing misery to others. These two showed absolutely no regard for the terrifying nature of their offences and I’m pleased both are now in prison where they deserve to be.’

By Ed

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