Theodore Adekoya, aged 24 and of Mallard Road in Bournemouth, was sentenced at Bournemouth Crown Court on Monday 17 May 2021 after admitting two charges of robbery, four counts of attempted robbery and three offences of possessing a bladed article.
Four of the robbery offences occurred within a period of less than two hours on the night of Tuesday 24 November 2020.
At around 9.25pm a man aged in his 20s was approached by the defendant near to the Post Office in Holdenhurst Road. Adekoya asked to see the man’s phone. When they showed it to him, Adekoya demanded that the victim unlock the phone and reset it, as he did so the defendant put his hand in his pocket and said: “I’ll use my weapon.” The victim was fearful so they reset the phone and handed it over. Adekoya left the scene in the direction of Lansdowne Road.
At around 10pm another man aged in his 20s was in the area of Pier Approach when he was approached by Adekoya, who asked what phone he owned. The victim engaged him in conversation and the defendant walked away but moments later he ran back toward the victim and demanded that he get his phone out, reset it and hand it over. He put his hand in his pocket and said: “You don’t want me to get this out do you?”. The victim believed Adekoya was referring to a knife but did not see a weapon. As he was trying to reset the phone, Adekoya appeared to be spooked by something and suddenly ran off.
Shortly after 11pm that night a 19-year-old man was walking near to the Landsowne Roundabout in Holdenhurst Road when he was approached by Adekoya, who engaged him in conversation about his phone. The victim tried to walk away from him but Adekoya pulled out a knife from his pocket and demanded the victim hand it over and provide his PIN. The victim fled from Adekoya and got into a nearby building.
At around 11.15pm a man aged in his 20s was walking in the area of St Pauls Road when he was approached by the defendant, who asked if he had a phone. The victim said he did not, and Adekoya responded by saying ‘shall I ask you again?’ while putting his hands into the waistband of his trousers to indicate he had a weapon. The victim fled the scene and was able to get to safety.
At around 11.30pm on Monday 30 November 2020 a further offence occurred in Howard Road in Charminster. The victim, a man aged in his 40s, was approached by Adekoya, who demanded his mobile phone. He then pulled a knife from his jacket pocket and held it to the victim’s face before threatening him. The victim handed it over and Adekoya ordered the man to tell him how to unlock the phone so he could reset it before walking away.
At around 8.35pm on Thursday 3 December 2020 a 19-year-old man was waiting for a bus and using his phone in Charminster Road when the defendant approached and demanded his phone. Adekoya then lifted up his top to show the black handle of a knife in his waistband. The victim fled the scene and came across police officers who were on patrol in the area of Lowther Road. He told them what happened and they attempted to stop the defendant but he made off from the scene, discarding a large hunting style knife as he headed into gardens.
Following a search, Adekoya was arrested and the knife was recovered. He was linked to the other offences through CCTV enquiries and descriptions given by the victims.
Detective Constable Christian Bryant, of Dorset Police’s Priority Crime Team, said: “Theodore Adekoya was responsible for a series of offences where he mainly targeted young men and either threatened his victims openly with a knife or made them believe he was in possession of one.
“Everyone has the right to feel safe when they go out in the evening in our communities and these must have been frightening experiences for the victims involved.
“I am pleased that through the swift response of officers on the night of Thursday 3 December 2020 and the investigation work we have carried out, we were able to identify Adekoya as the man responsible for this series of crimes and bring a stop to his offending.”