A Coventry man was armed with a knife as he tried to rob a florist’s and a charity shop in the city – with the help of this girlfriend. Sarah Mahoney has gone inside both shops to check the coast was clear, before sending Matthew Arnold inside.
However, both the stores they targeted did not have a safe on the premises – as the couple had hoped – and they fled empty-handed. Arnold and Mahoney were jailed at Warwick Crown Court yesterday (Wednesday June 15) over the attempted robberies which took place in December last year.
Arnold, 35, of Widdrington Road, Radford, was found guilty of three counts of attempted robbery and having a bladed article in a public place and was jailed for five years. Mahoney, of Corporation Street in Coventry city centre, was found guilty of two counts of attempted robbery and jailed for 40 months.
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At around lunchtime on December 9, 2021, a man who was later identified as Arnold, walked into a florist’s in Tile Hill, armed with a knife. When the staff explained there was no safe filled with money in the shop, he ran off empty-handed.
Four hours later at 5.25pm, charity shop workers called the police to say that a man armed with a knife had asked for cash from the safe. Just like the florist, there was no safe at the shop on Gramercy Park and, again, the man ran off empty-handed.
Detectives watched CCTV from nearby shops and saw the robber hanging around outside before he went in and threatened staff. They also saw a woman with him.
The woman had gone into the charity shop a few minutes earlier then came out and went around the back where she met up with the man.
After waiting outside for the shop to empty, the man went inside to rob it. CCTV showed that the woman, Mahoney, had done the same at the florist – popped inside to check it was safe for her boyfriend to rob.
Arnold was arrested within hours of the second offence after officers who had attended both crimes came across him loitering in the locality and recognised him from the CCTV enquiries they had just completed. Mahoney was identified following further enquiries and arrested the following day.
In the wake of the sentencing, West Midlands Police urged people to come forward and report crime, even if they do not feel comfortable calling the police.
A force spokesman said: “If you know who is responsible for crime in your neighbourhood but don’t want to tell us, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. You don’t have to give your name or address and your call will not be traced but you may still be entitled to a reward.”