A SECURITY guard tried to thwart armed robbers after spotting them in thick winter clothing on a sunny day.
The Tesco store detective spotted Levi Morey and his unknown accomplice walking down Kingston Crescent, Portsmouth, last summer.
Portsmouth Crown Court heard the guard was suspicious as despite the heat the men had thick jackets on as they walked to Ladbrokes in the street.
Morey was wearing a painting mask and the other man a scarf, both hiding their faces.
Martyn Booth, prosecuting, said the robbers burst into the bookies with Morey’s accomplice threatening terrified staff with a claw hammer.
He said: ‘They describe both males as effectively charging towards the counter area at the back of the store.
‘The male with the mask on, this defendant, and blue hood over his head immediately comes behind the counter by jumping over the counter.
‘The other male, the flat cap, is brandishing a claw hammer, which is quite distinctive as it has a red handle. They’re both making threats and demands to be given money.’
When they ran off with £350 from the bookies one of the workers, a woman, was knocked – with the security guard waiting by the door.
He tried to stop them leaving but the accomplice smashed out at the glass, damaging the door.
They fled the building, with police already having been called. Police tracked Morey, 35, to his flat Mayo Close, Buckland.
Officers saw another man ‘sweating profusely’ riding away but did not know he was one of the robbers.
Morey’s door was ajar and police found him also ‘sweating profusely’ wearing a pair of shorts, and with a bag-for-life with clothes and cash in it.
When police burst in he was holding the red-handled hammer but dropped it.
In statements read in court, Ladbrokes staff said they were frightened in the robbery, with one fearing her head ‘might be caved in.’
Morey, who has 33 previous court appearances, was jailed for five years for robbery and a year concurrent for having the offensive weapon.
Sentencing, judge Sarah Munro QC said: ‘A store detective at Tesco was suspicious about the two of you because you were wearing such heavy clothing with masks, so that the store detective followed the two of you into Ladbrokes and blocked the door.’
James Caldwell, mitigating, said Morey was remorseful. He admitted robbery and having an offensive weapon, after he was shown the CCTV by a judge at an earlier hearing.