A ‘dangerous’ offender who committed a string of offences at bookmakers across south and south-east London has been jailed following an investigation by the Met’s Flying Squad.
Michael Lindo, 41 (27.07.81), of no fixed address, appeared at Croydon Crown Court on Wednesday, 7 June having pleaded guilty to 15 offences relating to nine armed robberies and attempted armed robberies. He will serve a minimum of eight years.
Detective Sergeant Paul Bartlett, Flying Squad, said: “Lindo is a prolific and dangerous man who thought nothing of terrifying the victims in these incidents in order to get what he wanted.
“These are people who were going about their work as normal when they were thrust into situations in which they feared for their lives. The effects of these kind of incidents can’t be underestimated; there may be no physical injury but the psychological impact can be devastating.
“It is no exaggeration to say that London is a safer place with him behind bars.”
The offences spanned from May to September 2022 and were often similar; Lindo would enter the premises, face hidden by a mask, before approaching the counter and demanding cash from the cashier, at the same time pointing and threatening them with an imitation firearm before fleeing.
In total he stole just over £9,000.
Officers from the Flying Squad were informed of all the offences and began investigating them as a linked series due to nature of the incidents.
They identified Lindo as a suspect and in September 2022 officers began conducting surveillance on him.
He was observed approaching a bookmakers in London Road, Tooting on the evening of 20 September 2022, before using a suspected firearm to threaten staff and demand cash. Firearms officers moved in and Lindo was promptly arrested.
The firearm he was using was examined and found to be a highly convincing looking imitation.
CCTV, surveillance, witness, forensic and mobile phone evidence gathered during the course of investigation would leave Lindo with no choice but to plead guilty. He had been on licence having served six years of an 11-year sentence for a previous armed robbery offence.
A passage from the sentencing note read: ‘The defendant generally targeted premises where there were no customers, often when there was a lone female member of staff working and often when the premises were opening or towards closing time. There were in total 11 different members of staff who were the victims of these robberies, some of whom suffered serious psychological harm’.
Breakdown of offences in 2022:
– 6 May 2022: Armed robbery of a betting shop in Lower Addiscombe Road Croydon – £3,342 stolen;
– 11 June: Attempted armed robbery of a betting shop in Brockley Road, SE4;
– 11 June: Attempted armed robbery of a betting shop in Milkwood Road, SE24;
– 11 June: Attempted armed robbery of a betting shop in Acorn Parade, SE15;
– 11 August: Armed robbery of a betting shop in Croydon Road, SE20 – £700 stolen;
– 15 August: Armed robbery of a betting shop in Brixton Hill, SW2 – £4,500 stolen;
– 3 September: Armed robbery of a betting shop in Streatham Road – £475 stolen;
– 3 September: Attempted armed robbery of a betting shop in Streatham Road;
– 20 September: Attempted armed robbery of a betting shop in London Road, SW17.