A man who attempted to carry out an armed robbery at a Surrey-based jewellers while dressed in women’s clothing has been jailed.
The attempted robbery took place shortly after 5pm on Friday, 19 February, when Ryan Valentine, 39, entered the jewellery shop on Leatherhead high street wearing a long black wig, dark sunglasses, a black skirt, a light coloured long-sleeved top and carrying a dark coloured handbag.
A short time later his accomplice, 49-year-old Raymond Price, entered the shop with his face covered by a motorcycle helmet.
Valentine then pulled out what appeared to be a firearm, later discovered to be an imitation weapon, and threatened the two members of staff, who were the only other people in the store at the time of the incident.
However, the robbery was halted when two members of staff refused to hand over any money and became in a brief struggle with the two suspects.
Valentine managed to get out of the store and ran from the area but the two members of staff, with assistance from several passers-by, tackled Price and detained him at the scene until officers arrived.
He was arrested by Sussex Police several days after the incident.
Valentine, of Carlton Road in Walton-on-Thames, and Price, of Thamesmead in Walton-on-Thames, were sentenced at Guildford Crown Court last week (Thursday, 19 May).
Valentine was sentenced to six years in prison and Price was jailed for 45 months after both men admitted charges of having an imitation firearm. The two men had both entered guilty pleas at earlier hearings.
Paula Jones, 29, of Grenside Road in Weybridge was also sentenced to 15 months imprisonment for assisting an offender during the same hearing.
Detective Sergeant Joe Easterbrook said: “This was a highly unusual incident where two men in very distinctive clothing attempted to rob a local business in broad daylight.
“The two members of staff working that day refused to be intimidated by the suspects and showed tremendous bravery to challenge the two men and stop Price from leaving the store until our officers arrived.
“Although the members of staff were both very shaken by what took place fortunately they both only suffered minor injuries during the incident.
“I would also like to pay tribute to the members of the public walking past the shop at the time of the robbery who stopped to assist with the efforts to prevent Price from escaping.”