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Knife wielding robber flees but then burgles 80-year-old woman’s home

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A man threatened a Cambridgeshire Co-op shop worker with two large kitchen knives to force her to open a till.

And he later burgled an 80-year-old woman, a court was told.

Andrew Allen, 44, went into the Co-op in Peterborough Road, Eye, at about 8.40pm on May 13, pushed a customer out of the way, pulled out two large kitchen knives and demanded the female cashier should “open the till”.

Allen, who was wearing a facemask, realised there was no access to the till from the front and tried to enter the till area from the side, but another female staff member intervened, and Allen left the shop on a bike.

A few hours later, also in Eye, Allen broke into the home of an 80-year-old woman.

The woman had woken up and went downstairs where she found a window had been smashed, all her money and bank cards had been taken and her purse and bag left empty on the living room floor.

A wedding ring and engagement ring were also stolen.

Allen used a stolen bank card to withdraw a total of £670: £250 from the petrol station at the Peterborough One Shopping Park, another £250 from the SPAR in Welland Road and a further £170 from the Post Office in Central Avenue.

He was arrested in Bretton after detectives obtained CCTV from the burglary which they matched with the images from the shop.

Allen booked a taxi after breaking into the elderly woman’s house and further enquires eventually led detectives to him.

On Monday, at Cambridge Crown Court, Allen, of Peartree Lane, Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire, was jailed for seven years after admitting attempted robbery, one count of possessing a knife in a public place, burglary, one count of fraud and possession of a class B drug.

Detective Constable George Corney said: “Allen’s actions towards the staff members at the Co-Op were disgraceful and very frightening for them.

“Not only did he threaten someone with a knife, disgustingly he thought it was acceptable to burgle the home of an elderly woman and steal money and items from her.

“These are the actions of a coward, and I am pleased Allen is now behind bars where he can reflect on his immoral behaviour.”  

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