A robber who threatened terrified workers with a machete and needle has been jailed – after he was discovered hiding in a tent in woodland just yards from one supermarket he targeted.
Daniel Heaney targeted two stores repeatedly in a week-long reign of terror.
His spree began on August 13, when the 37-year-old shoplifter stole vodka bottles from Sainsbury’s in Northfield .
After being approached by a security worker he pulled out a syringe and claimed he had HIV.
He said he would jab the staff member before fleeing the scene.
Heaney then targeted Asda in Barnes Hill five times – pulling out a needle on one occasion and wielding a machete in the direction of a terrified staff member on another.
The thief was caught after officers rushed to Asda after he stole candles on August 20.
He was found in a tent in woodland off Middleacre Road – in the shadow of the supermarket.
He is believed to have been living in the tent.
His haul of stolen items included clothing, electrical goods and accessories.
Heaney, of no fixed address, admitted five counts of theft, a robbery and possession of an offensive weapon was sentenced to four years and four months at Birmingham Crown Court last Wednesday, September 19.
Detective Inspector Gemma Currie, from West Midlands Police CID, said: “Heaney was proving a prolific thief and thought nothing of intimidating and terrorising others in the process.
“I hope his sentence provides some comfort to those he has traumatised with his threats.”