Acton fire fighter, Hyder Razak, has been jailed for seven years for stealing thousands of pounds from bookmakers’ shops in a series of “terrifying” armed robberies.
The 23 year old, who was based at Acton Fire Station, carried out four separate armed robberies at three bookmakers over a two-month period, including two robberies at Ladbrokes on Acton High Street just two weeks apart.
He carried out the attacks on his way home from work; on each occasion he used similar tactics, hiding in the shop just before closing time, usually in the toilets, and only emerging when it had been closed to punters.
Wearing a balaclava-style hood, he then threatened staff with a large serrated knife and demanded cash, before fleeing the scene on foot.
Although Razak was off-duty at the time of the offences, on one occasion he wore Fire Brigade issue trousers, while on another he wore firefighters’ gloves.
Police believe he stole around £11,000 in total, but officers have only recovered a fraction of the cash. He was arrested after he was caught gambling at a bookmakers with some of the stolen money, police said.
Det Con Mick Svensson of Finchley Flying Squad said: “The sentence passed today sends out a strong message to any individual engaged in armed offences – when convicted you are likely to face a lengthy custodial sentence.
“Razak threatened members of staff while committing these robberies, and members of staff are still suffering from the effects of their ordeals.
“Razak preyed on people who were going about their everyday business and put them through terrifying ordeals. He has been given a lengthy custodial sentence and will pose no further threat to the public for some time.”
December 12, 2004