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 Jail for robber who threatened bank staff with Febreze


​A MAN who threatened bank staff with a bottle of Febreze which he claimed was acid has been jailed.

Simon Jones entered the Natwest bank in Bishop Auckland on May 17 wearing a mask, plastic gloves and dark glasses, carrying a bottle of Febreze, before queuing behind customers.

Once at the counter, the 38-year-old demanded money and handed the cashier a note telling her he had acid and that he would use it. 

He left the bank with a quantity of cash before making off in his partner’s Ford Fiesta, which he had taken without her consent.

Jones, of West Auckland, was arrested later that evening after a member of the public recognised the car following a media appeal by police.

After analysing his phone, officers found Jones had previously Googled ‘how to rob a bank’.

He admitted robbery and taking his girlfriend’s car without consent and was jailed for 40 months at Durham Crown Court today (December 13). 

PC Andy Denham, from South Durham CID, said: “This was a planned and thought-out offence which terrified the bank staff and customers and has had a long-term effect on those who witnessed it.

“Fortunately, due to the vigilance of the local community who were in and around the bank that day, along with the help of the community in Coundon, the vehicle used by Jones was identified that same day, along with the clothing worn by Jones and the Febreze bottle.

“We were then able to swiftly identify, locate and arrest him and minimise the long-term effects of the robbery on the bank staff by placing Jones in custody at the earliest opportunity.”