A bank robber has been sent to prison for the third time after a bank manager recognised him after he tried to rob the same bank for the third time.
Cecil Stevens had already served two previous jail terms for bank robbery when he threatened a cashier at a branch of NatWest in St. Phillips Place on 11th October 2019.
During the raid, Stevens grabbed handfuls of notes from the cash drawer.
Twenty-four hours later, Stevens returned to the same branch and robbed it again, stealing cash along with a red dye pack.
CCTV from the branch showed Stevens running from the scene with the red dye leaking from his pocket. The cash and the dye pack were found in a nearby bin.
Later that same day, the hapless thief tried to rob a Nationwide bank in the same high street.
Stevens covered his head with a towel and ran behind the counter as he threatened a cashier and grabbed notes from an ATM.
The Nationwide employee immediately activated a security smoke device, and Stevens left the scene as the bank filled with smoke.
Having seen Stevens a couple of times, the manager at the branch of NatWest in St. Phillips Place spotted him as he returned to the bank on 7th November.
A security guard told Steven’s to remove his headwear but Steven’s refused and instead just turned around and left the bank.
The manager followed Steven’s as he left while at the same time, dialling 999 to ask for the police. Two other Colmore Business Improvement District security officers were also alerted to Steven’s.
They kept watching on him until the police arrived.
Stevens, from Lombard Street in Digbeth, had already served two prison sentences.
He was convicted of robbing a building society at gunpoint in 1998 and was later sentenced for another robbery at a post office in East Yorkshire in 2008.
Stevens pleaded guilty to one robbery, two counts of theft and one count of attempted theft. He was jailed for 11 years.
Detective Constable Nick Betts said:
“I have to praise the actions of the bank manager and security team in the city centre.
“They reacted immediately and were instrumental in putting a prolific offender behind bars for a very long time.”
A spokesperson for Colmore BID said:
“Keeping local businesses safe is a key part of the work that we do.
We’re really proud of the partnership we have with West Midlands Police that helps us to do this, and we are pleased to have been involved in helping to bring this offender to justice.”
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