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A man who prayed on small businesses jailed

November 19, 2014, 5:13 pm

An armed robber who targeted small businesses, in central and south London has been jailed today, Wednesday 19 November.

Michael Ebanks, 50, [23/07/1964] of David Barker House, Blackfriars Road, SE1 was jailed for 14-years for robberies and attempted robberies and seven-years for possession of a bladed article. Both sentences will run concurrently.

Upon release, Ebanks will also be subjected to an extended four year licence order.

The court heard Ebanks was already on licence for robbery when he robbed and attempted to rob 12 different businesses between April 16 and June 28. On seven of these occasions, Ebanks was armed with a large knife which he used to frighten and threaten his victims.

A childrens toy shop, wine outlet and a hosiery and sock store were just some of the businesses targeted by Ebanks who carefully planned each robbery to ensure the victims – generally lone women working behind the counter of a small store – were away from any panic alarm buttons during the course of the robbery.

Ebanks would typically produce his knife and hand over a bag, calmly requesting the staff member to fill it up with cash before leaving. On one occasion, he even thanked a cashier saying “merci” before calmly leaving the premises in a hoody and a t-shirt pulled up to his face in an effort to conceal his identity from CCTV cameras.

Flying Squad detectives connected Ebanks to the robberies through fingerprints and other forensics he left behind at the scenes.

Detectives arrested Ebanks at 15:36hrs on Saturday 28 June as he exited a wine shop in East Dulwich, SE22 armed with a large knife and a quantity of cash he had just stolen during the course of a robbery.

He pleaded guilty on 29 October at the Inner London Crown Court due to the overwhelming evidence against him.

Detective Constable Jolanta Markowska from the Mets Flying Squad said: “Michael Ebanks is a violent criminal. His planning was calculated and ruthless, rendering lone workers powerless when he confronted them with a knife. The Mets Flying Squad will relentlessly pursue villains like Ebanks and bring them to justice.”

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