A criminal who targeted shoppers and stores in a Black Country town over three weeks was today behind bars.
Ryan Walker robbed a woman of her handbag as she sat in her car in West Bromwich and stole food during his crime spree in West Bromwich. Walker, of Bryan Street, West Bromwich, committed the offences between July 7 and July 30 to fuel his drug addiction, Wolverhampton Crown Court heard.
He had only been let out of prison in February having served four years for dishonesty offences. The 24-year-old targeted Farmfoods in The Farley Centre where he stole 40 tins of salmon and £55 worth of coffee on the same day.
After stealing groceries from Farmfoods, Walker was to return to the shop on July 17.
Mr Mark Phillips, prosecuting, said: “The defendant was recognised in the shop by the duty supervisor and the defendant helped himself to eggs and coffee. He has then said to the member of staff ‘why are you watching me for, you muppet?’
“The defendant has put his hand in his pocket and the complainant believed he had a knife.
“The crown accepts in the basis of plea there was no knife. Wisely the duty supervisor has stepped back and the defendant has left the store.”
Walker’s mini crimewave wasn’t to end there. A week later he snatched a bag from Kamajit Bains after she returned to her car on High Street in West Bromwich.
Mr Phillips told the court: “She went to her car and put the key in the ignition. As she did that the defendant went to the passenger side door and grabbed her handbag which was on the passenger seat.
“The bag and the purse inside was taken with the bag and its contents valued at £150 but there were sentimental items inside.”
Walker’s final offence before his arrest was to be on July 25. Jelena Zimina was at a bus stop on Shireland Road in Smethwick and was this time targeted by Walker and an unknown man.
Walker grabbed an iPhone out her hand and he managed to get away but the device was tracked down using a tracking app on the telephone.
It was this that led officers to Walker. He pleaded guilty to three charges of theft and three charges of robbery. His defence barrister Mr Jas Mann described him as ‘a young man with a difficult life that was of his own making’.
Judge Michael Dudley jailed him for four-and-a-half years.