Jailed: Armed robber who targeted banks and Post Office
- Credit: Met Police
A Hornchurch armed robber has been jailed for 16 years after raiding two banks and a Post Office in Gants Hill and Wanstead.
Steven Ifield, 52, of Park Lane, pointed imitation guns at staff and demanded money during the incidents, which happened in October and November 2019.
He was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Friday (April 30), after being found guilty of two counts of robbery, one count of attempted robbery and three counts of possession of an imitation firearm.
On two occasions during the raids, Ifield produced what police believe was an imitation handgun that appeared genuine to staff.
On the third occasion, he used a folded walking stick half concealed inside a carrier bag and held it as if he was carrying a shotgun.
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At the banks, Ifield stole cash and stuffed it into his coat before fleeing. He made off with £3,230 from one raid and £1,360 from the other.
His attempt to rob the Post Office was foiled when staff refused to open the till, telling him it was on a time lock.
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Detectives identified Ifield after tracing the route he took as he fled the scene of each robbery.
By examining CCTV from buses, shops and Tube stations, they were able to follow his movements and place him at all three venues at the times the raids took place.
PC Stefen Rule, from the Met’s Flying Squad, said: “Ifield has a long and serious offending history, including nine previous armed robberies. Each one will have caused a huge amount of distress to the innocent members of staff who were targeted.
"I am pleased that he will no longer be able to pose a threat to the public.
"I hope that these convictions and the length of the sentence imposed by the court will be of some comfort to the victims and help alleviate the trauma they have experienced.”
Anyone with information about criminal activity can call the police on 101.
Alternatively, to give information anonymously, call independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit https://crimestoppers-uk.org/