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Bag snatcher robbed lady, 71, after ‘girlfriend picked her out’

A bag snatcher robbed an elderly lady in the street and later claimed his debt-ridden girlfriend had picked her out as an easy target.

CCTV captured Jahinah Thomas hop out of a black Toyota, linger outside Avenues Post Office in Bordesley Green and pounce as the 71-year-old crossed the road.

He then legged it down the street but was chased and stopped by members of the public.

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The victim sustained a small cut to her finger but ‘bled profusely’ due to the medication she was on.

Thomas, aged 34 and from Wilson Drive, Sutton Coldfield, pleaded guilty to robbery and was said to be ‘ashamed’ of his actions. At Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday, September 15, he was jailed for 30 months.

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Footage of the incident, which took place on July 17 this year, was played during the hearing showing the robbery from two angles. Prosecutor James Bruce said: “She tried to resist which caused a cut to her finger. Because of the medication she was on it bled profusely.

“There was an element of targeting. Members of the public chased after him and caught him. They chose to do the public spirited thing and stop him completing the offence and making sure he didn’t get away.”

Avenues Post Office in Bordesley Green
A general view Avenues Post Office in Bordesley Green

Mohammed Naser, defending, said: “He deeply regrets and is ashamed of his actions not least because of the fact the victim was 71 years old. He apologised and recognised how stupid his actions were and selfish.

“He understands his aspirations and goals will be put on hold. He had been working towards a degree.”

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Judge Francis Laird QC, passing sentence, revealed that Thomas’s girlfriend, who was not named, was allegedly the driving force behind the mugging.

He said: “You were driving the area with your girlfriend looking for a victim to rob. You told probation officers your girlfriend pointed out your intended victim who is a lady of 71 years of age.”

The judge added: “You are genuinely remorseful for what you have done and you are ashamed, that comes through. I accept had you not been encouraged by your girlfriend, who was in debt, you may not have committed this offence yourself.”

West Midlands Police confirmed no-one else was arrested in relation to the incident.

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