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A robber who threatened shop staff in Basildon with a knife has been jailed.
Russell Toye targeted the Post Office in Felmores End, Basildon on November 30 last year and Martin’s Newsagents in Whitmore Way on March 13 this year.
On both occasions he threatened staff inside with a knife and demanded they had over money making off with a total of about £1,100 worth of cash and cigarettes.
Four other incidents have also been taken into consideration.
Thirty-nine year-old Toye, of no fixed address, was linked to the robbery at Martin’s after officers identified seven fingerprints on a carrier bag he had left at the scene as belonging to him.
He was linked to the robbery at the Post Office through his distinctive orange mobile phone.
When he had gone into the store, he had taken his phone out of his pocket and appeared to talk on it moments before leaving and then returning to carry out the robbery.
When he was arrested, the phone was seized from his possessions.
He admitted he was responsible for both robberies when interviewed following his arrest in April.
He was charged and at Basildon Crown Court on September 6 he admitted two counts of robbery and three counts of possession of an offensive weapon.
At the same court on Monday November 29, he was jailed for six years and four months, with a further three years on extended licence.
Investigating officer PC David Love, from Basildon CID, said: “Nobody should be made to feel afraid in their place of work but Russell Toye did just that to the staff of these shops.
“Armed with a knife, he threatened them and his actions have had a lasting impact on them.
“He will now spend the foreseeable future behind bars and Essex is safer for this.”