EXMOUTH TESCO RAIDER: Step 2 - robber unmasked
DETECTIVES knew their only hope of securing a concrete conviction was to find a shot of Brown s unmasked face. An officer - dedicated to finding that crucial shot - spent hundreds of hours watching CCTV footage in a bid to catch a glimpse of the offender
DETECTIVES knew their only hope of securing a concrete conviction was to find a shot of Brown's unmasked face.
An officer - dedicated to finding that crucial shot - spent hundreds of hours watching CCTV footage in a bid to catch a glimpse of the offender's face.
After the robbery, Brown was careful to conceal his identity. He did not run away from the scene, so passers-by failed to notice a masked man calmly walk through the Magnolia Centre, gripping a home-made balaclava to his neck, to prevent it from slipping.
Local officers were tasked with the job of visiting businesses along the route taken by Brown. Copies of any CCTV footage was taken, copied and watched by police.
Pinpointing his exact route before and after the hold-up, the police were often forced to work with grainy images where brief glimpses of Brown were captured on-screen.
Police said the net closed on the armed raider when he was caught on camera in The Strand - with his face on full-show, wearing clothes matching the robber's.
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Footage revealed how Brown stopped in a side alley off The Strand to pull on his balaclava, checking his reflection in a parked van mirror, ducking to avoid a woman passer-by.
CCTV footage during the hold-up also showed Brown make a conscious effort to cover his arm with his jumper as he pointed the gun at the cashier - leading police to believe the man they were looking for had distinctive tattoos to hide.
With his face captured on camera, detectives now needed a name and turned to forensic evidence to supply this.