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Man used stolen car in attempted robbery

14 Feb 2020

A man stole a car and used it to drive to a newsagent where he attempted to rob the owner but was beaten away with a rounders bat.

Harry Smith, 27, was walking in Meadenvale, Parnwell, on 20 November when he noticed a Vauxhall Astra had been left running in a driveway.

Smith got into the car, reversed it out of the driveway and drove away at speed before the owner could get outside.

Later that day he drove the Astra to a newsagents in Front Road, Murrow. He went into the shop brandishing a large knife and shouted “Give me the money, give me the money” to the shopkeeper.

The shopkeeper activated a panic alarm and hit Smith with a rounders bat which he kept behind the counter.

Smith fled the scene empty handed and drove away in the Astra.

Shortly afterwards officers in Fengate saw the Astra driving suspiciously. Having been made aware of the two incidents they checked the number plate and began a pursuit travelling through Fengate and ending in Palmers Road. The driver left the vehicle and ran off.

Scenes of Crime Officers attended and several items were seized from the car including a pair of gloves and the knife. They were submitted for DNA testing and were a positive match for Smith.

He was arrested on 13 December and went on to admit attempted robbery, possession of a knife, aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving.

Smith, of no fixed abode, was sentenced at Cambridge Crown Court yesterday (13 February) to four years and four months in prison.

DC Harley Smart said: “Smith was opportunistic and took the chance to easily steal the car which was left running. The incident provides a reminder to everybody to stay with your car when you are demisting it in the winter.

“The attempted robbery could have had far more serious consequences had the shop keeper not acted so quickly. I am pleased Smith is now behind bars.”

Know someone who carries a weapon? Please help us tackle serious street based violence and report it to us by calling 101 or visiting Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111 or via

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