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Armed robber subjected staff at Bexleyheath travel agent to “terrifying ordeal” before stealing thousands

PUBLISHED: 17:21 06 December 2016 | UPDATED: 17:21 06 December 2016

Robert Darling

Robert Darling

Archant

He has been jailed for 13 years after admitting a string of offences

An armed robber who stole more than £60,000 from a travel agent in Bexleyheath has been jailed for 13 years.

Robert Darling, of no fixed abode but from the Southwark area, targeted Bureau de Changes at travel agents between July and October this year, threatening members of staff with a firearm and ordering them to empty the safes of money.

The 37-year-old raided Thomson Travel Agents in Broadway, Bexleyheath on September 18, making off with £67,000.

He also stole £5,000 during a robbery at Thomson Travel Agents in Bell Corner, Upminster, on October 21, and £32,000 from Thomas Cook in Tunbridge Wells on July 8.

On October 21, Darling was detained by officers from the Flying Squad at an address in the Rotherhithe area, where the gun and money from the Upminster offence were recovered.

Darling was sentenced to 13 years in prison on Tuesday, December 6, after admitting the robberies and associated firearms offences.

Detective constable Leisa Johnson, of the Met’s Organised Crime Command, said: “This was a terrifying ordeal for all of the people involved. The firearm pointed at them appeared genuine and this was coupled with threats to shoot them from Darling.

“This has the understandable effect of causing the staff genuine fear for their lives. This sentence reflects the seriousness of the three incidents.”

The money from the offences in Bexley and Kent have not been recovered.


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