Armed robber smashed up shop after owners locked him inside
- Credit: Norfolk Constabulary
A masked robber with a hammer and a screwdriver caused £23,000 of damage to a shop when brave workers locked him inside.
Craig Hicks destroyed CCTV cameras and stock as he desperately tried to escape from Steve McDonald News in Thorpe St Andrew after police were called.
David Wilson, prosecuting at Norwich Crown Court, said owner Bose Dasaolu was in the office of the newsagents on Witard Road when Hicks, 39, burst in.
The raid happened at around 4am on January 10.
Mr Wilson said: "He demanded 'where is the money?'."
Mrs Dasaolu told him there was no cash and attempted to push him out of the office as she feared she was going to be seriously hurt.
A male employee came to her aid and and Mr Wilson said they managed to overcome Hicks and lock him in the shop until police arrived.
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When officers arrived they found Hicks had caused extensive damage including damaging security cameras worth £3,500 and roof tiles.
Mr Wilson said in total £23,109-worth of damage was caused.
In an impact statement Mrs Dasaolu said she now felt on her guard and the worker who came to her aid now suffered from nightmares and felt anxious.
Hicks, of Silfield Street, Silfield near Wymondham, admitted attempted robbery and criminal damage and was jailed for five-and-a-half years.
Recorder Guy Ayers praised the courage of Mrs Dasaolu and her colleague, saying: "They both behaved so bravely to thwart the attempted robbery."
He told Hicks that he had been armed with a hammer and screwdriver and said: "Even if your intention was to use them in order to gain entry, people who see you with these weapons obviously have to fear that you may be intending to use them to carry out your robbery."
Rob Pollington, for Hicks, said that he had been desperate for cash as he had been taking illicit substances at the time and had been planning to use the weapons to break into the store rather than carry out a robbery.
He said damage was caused as he was trying to escape.