Three bungling robbers were exposed after driving to multiple crime scenes in the same highly distinctive car.
The hapless trio were repeatedly caught on camera as they tried and failed to rob a Post Office and stole petrol from a forecourt.
Friends Alex Kinsey, Terry Woroch, and Lee Birtles later concluded their day-long crime spree by stealing cigarettes during a knife-point shop robbery and attempting to burgle a house.
It was soon discovered that the same car – a dark coloured Toyota Aygo with a bright orange roof – had been used in each offence.
The vehicle may have been travelling on false plates, but its distinctive colour scheme made it easy to spot on CCTV.
Detectives were even able to get a close-up image of the driver – Woroch – and the front-seat passenger – Kinsey – as they passed through the drive-thru lane of a popular fast-food restaurant on their way home to Bircotes.
The offending took place on Saturday, January 22 of this year, and started when Kinsey and Birtles attempted to force their way behind the counter of the Post Office in Scrooby Road, Bircotes – only to leave empty handed when they were chased away by a female employee.
After stealing £30 of petrol from a garage in North Road, Retford, the trio then made their way to the convenience store in Owston Ferry.
The shopkeeper was punched repeatedly and threatened with a knife before Kinsey and Birtles made off with cigarettes, alcohol and cash.
Woroch admitted to police that he had been driving the car for the earlier petrol theft, but initially claimed to have no involvement in any of the other offences.
His lies were exposed when officers followed up on a fast-food receipt found inside the car and retrieved CCTV footage of him passing through the drive-thru in the right hand front seat.
Kinsey, Birtles and Woroch, all of no fixed address, later pleaded guilty to a string of offences and were sentenced on Thursday (17 August) at Nottingham Crown Court.
Kinsey, aged 35, pleaded guilty to two charges of robbery and also admitted to charges of attempted burglary, making off without payment, and handling stolen goods .He was jailed for five years and three months.
Birtles, aged 42, pleaded guilty to both robberies, attempted burglary and possession of a bladed article. He was also jailed for five years and six months.
Woroch, aged 51, admitted to robbery, making off without payment and attempted burglary. He was jailed or four years and seven months.
Detective Constable Holly Cotter, of Nottinghamshire Police, said: “These men may have proven themselves to be pretty terrible criminals, but their calculating and violent actions will unfortunately live long in the memory of their victims.
“Building a water-tight case in any criminal investigation is rarely easy and this case was no different. We were, however, greatly assisted by our offenders’ very distinctive mode of transport, which quite literally made them stand out from the crowd.”