Two men responsible for separate armed raids where the use of smoke-dye technology helped in their arrest have been given prison terms.
Graham Farrell, 44, of Swanley, Kent, received 12 years imprisonment in connection with several armed robberies across Kent and beyond at Coral bookmakers, HBOS and Bradford & Bingley . He was eventually arrested in Harrow, Middlesex, in January following an armed raid at a Bradford & Bingley branch.
Farrell used an imitation firearm to terrorise staff, but he was unaware that two dye-packs were contained in the stolen cash and as he made his escape, clouds of red smoke were released and he was arrested by local police units. At Harrow Crown Court, he pleaded guilty to all seven armed robberies and was sentenced on April 24.
Carl Benson, 30, from the Wigan area, received a six year prison sentence for his part in an armed robbery where he brandished a knife to force staff to hand over cash at the Wallgate Bradford & Bingley branch.
As Benson, and an unknown accomplice, left the premises a trail of bright red smoke was released from the dye-pack that was contained in the stolen money and he was later arrested following a police investigation. At Liverpool Crown Court he pleaded guilty to the raid and was sentenced on May 9.
Dave Roberts, Bradford & Bingley Security Manager, said: "We have a comprehensive security strategy in place that is foremost designed to protect our staff and customers, but where a robbery does occur we also believe we should be providing police investigators with the tools to identify, arrest and convict those who commit these crimes."
Dye-packs and other robbery prevention systems are extensively used by financial institutions and retailers across the country and form part of the security measures used by these organisations.
Neil Chrismas, of IBP-Group, who gave expert witness evidence to the police in the Farrell and Benson cases said after the case: "It is really satisfying to know that in some small way we are helping our clients and the police to bring those responsible to justice. It must be a great relief to all the staff involved in these raids to know that two violent criminals are now behind bars."