COVENTRY robber Matthew Arnold and his girlfriend Sarah Mahoney were jailed at Warwick Crown Court yesterday after they attempted to rob a charity shop and florists last year.
Arnold, 35, walked into a florist shop in Tile Hill with a knife on December 9 at around lunchtime but ran off empty-handed after staff explained that there was no safe filled with money.
Workers at a charity shop on Gramercy Park reported a similar incident to police at 5:25pm, where the robber again ran off after finding that there was no safe on the premises.
West Midlands Police watched CCTV from nearby shops and saw the robber waiting outside before he went in and threatened staff.
They also saw Mahoney go into the charity shop a few minutes earlier to check if it was safe to rob before meeting up with Arnold, who waited for the store to empty before entering.
Police found that the pair had attempted the same thing at the florist.
Arnold was arrested within hours of the second offence by officers who had attended both crimes, who saw him locally and recognised him from the CCTV.
Further enquiries were made and his girlfriend was arrested the next day.
Arnold was jailed for five years after being found guilty of three counts of attempted robbery and having a bladed article in a public space.
Mahoney was jailed for 40 months for two counts of attempted robbery.