Two men were arrested by officers in an Eastbourne fish and chip shop five days after an attempted robbery at a car wash.
Officers tracked down Ben Taylor and Aaron Mcloughlin at an eatery in the town centre after their vehicle was spotted.
This week they were both jailed for what detectives called an “incredibly vicious and targeted” attempted robbery.
Police say the attempted robbery happened on October 7 last year and involved former employees, Taylor and Mcloughlin.
Taylor walked into the car washing area and threatened the victim and demanded money from him. Despite Taylor covering his face the workers recognised him and detained him on the floor while calling police.
As this happened, Taylor’s brother Aaron Mcloughlin accelerated toward the crowd in his black Ford Focus at speed. It bumped over the kerb and hit two of the people.
One of the group managed to open the driver’s door and kick Mcloughlin. Before getting into the car Taylor struck that same victim across the face with his shoe.
The car sped off.
Information was then received about a second car the pair had been using which was traced to Eastbourne where the pair were arrested following a 23-hour shift by officers.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Lloyd Ives said, “This was an incredibly vicious and targeted attempted robbery by two men who thought they would get away with easy money from their former employers.
“What they didn’t bargain on was the self-defence shown by the victims in this case, however those victims were incredibly lucky not to have suffered more severe injuries having been driven at by a car.
“Fortunately the events were captured on CCTV and showed the entire incident which proves how important it is to make sure your security systems are working and up to date.”
DC Ives and PC Wes Francis started their shift at 7am on October 12 and travelled to Eastbourne from Surrey – where the attempted robbery took place – having had information about a car the brothers were using.
“We started off by searching through fields on the outskirts of their home address in Addlestone as we had information they might have been sleeping in a tent and considered using a drone with a heat-seeking camera,” said DC Ives.
“However our focus shifted to Eastbourne town centre later in the day as we looked for the car which we suspected would be parked on a public road somewhere because of the setup of the town – and we found it soon enough but we still had to find the brothers.
“By chance we found them both in a chip shop and arrested them on the spot.”
Taylor, 26 and Mcloughlin, 23, both from Addlestone, were due to have a trial at Guildford Crown Court, but pleaded guilty on the first day on Monday (March 5).
Taylor pleaded guilty to robbery, possession of a Class A drug and common assault and was sentenced to four and a half years in prison. Mcloughlin pleaded guilty to dangerous driving and was sentenced to 20 months and banned from driving