A jewellery store robber who was caught after detectives found his DNA on his dumped “Del Boy style” coat has been jailed for five years.
Anthony Gafoor was identified by forensic evidence found in the sheepskin coat he wore during the heist at jewellers J G M Thomas in which he hospitalised the shop’s owner.
The 48-year-old, from Butetown, Cardiff, carried out the robbery at 9.55am on Friday, May 3, just as Cowbridge Road East in Canton, Cardiff, was packed with morning shoppers.
Detectives immediately launched a manhunt for the brazen thieve, questioning eye-witnesses and studying CCTV footage.
Speaking at the time, Crystal Todd, 18, of Rumney, a shop assistant working at the next-door Cash Converters store, described how she saw two men behaving suspiciously outside the jewellery shop.
Minutes later, she heard the jewellery shop’s alarms going off and saw the man in a brown suede coat running away from the shop in the direction of the Foresters pub with a rip in the back of his jacket.
Crystal’s co-worker, Lawrence Elliot, told how he then went in to check on the owner and found him out of breath and “looking as if he had just been wrestling”.
After calming him down, the pair helped tend to his wound until police and an ambulance arrived.
Josephine Lee, 38, an assistant manager at nearby charity shop Re:new, said: “I can’t believe they had to the nerve to do it in broad daylight.
“This road is renowned for being fairly busy at this time of day. Someone was bound to see them.”
During the raid Gafoor made off with a “quantity” of jewellery which has never been traced.
Detective Sergeant Craig Thomas, from Fairwater CID, told how shoppers had helped lead officers to the sheepskin coat which Gafoor had dumped as he fled.
“The public definitely played a part in the investigation and we are grateful for their assistance on the day,” he said.
“The information they provided, along with excellent CCTV from the shop and buses, meant we able to locate the coat the suspect has discarded in a lane behind Cowbridge Road East.
“The coat was taken for forensic testing which identified Anthony Gafoor as the person responsible.”
Gafoor admitted the offence when he appeared at Cardiff Crown Court on Friday, July 12 and was sentenced to four years for the robbery and one year for an unconnected theft.
A 42-year-old man from Canton and 34-year-old woman from Pontyclun who were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit robbery have been released from police bail.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Fairwater CID on 029 2052 7248 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting occurrence number *130409.