A bungling bandit has been jailed after he got locked inside the corner shop he was trying to rob.
Ryan Firman had been drinking for eight hours with friend Ryan O’Regan before they both went to Summerland Stores in Barnstaple to buy or steal alcohol.
They made a series of glaring mistakes which were all caught on the CCTV system, which ended with Firman sitting on a freezer and waiting to be arrested after staff locked the doors to stop him escaping.
He tried to force staff to open the till even though they had called the police and everything he said was recorded on the 999 call.
O’Regan tried to disguise his face with a jumper but had already been filmed by the CCTV system with his face exposed.
He came back to the shop to look for Firman and could be seen looking through the window.
O’Regan staggered away with an armful of 13 bottles of spirits worth £276, some which he claimed to have drunk before he was arrested at his flat the next morning.
Firman put his stolen bottles back on the shelves as he waited for the police to turn up.
Firman, 40, of Chapel Street, Holsworthy, and O’Regan, 26, of Babbages, Bickington, both denied robbery.
They were both found guilty by a jury at Exeter Crown Court.
Firman was jailed for three years and O’Regan for two by Judge Simon Carr.
He told them: “There is no doubt you were both very drunk. This robbery occurred on the spur of the moment rather than being planned in any way.
“Those who rob corner shops, which are particularly vulnerable, can expect nothing but prison.”
During the trial the jury heard how the pair had been drinking since midday on November 10 last year and went to the stores in Summerland Street at 8pm to steal more alcohol, after they had been to a nearby kebab shop.
Firman took off his top, which O’Regan wrapped around his face. He grabbed an armful of bottles and fled while Firman distracted staff by arguing with them.
Firman stayed in the shop, threatening to kill the owner and his assistant, and grabbing bottles off the shelf behind the counter.
The shop owner managed to get out from behind the counter and locked the door, so when Firman tried to leave with the bottles, he found himself trapped.
One of the staff armed himself with a crowbar and he gave up and sat on a freezer waiting for the police to arrive.
Firman said he had been arguing with the shopkeepers, had not tried to steal anything, and did not know that O’Regan had taken the bottles.
O’Regan said he had stolen the alcohol but that he was a simple shoplifter and knew nothing about Firman’s threats of violence.