Breaking Dartford Kent

A robber who targeted two Dartford shops in two days has been jailed for more than five years


Over the course of his offending, Michael Thormann assaulted two different members of shop staff, threatening one with a knife and damaging a glass screen in the process. 


The 31-year-old, of Wright Close, Swanscombe, admitted robbery, attempted robbery, actual bodily harm, theft, criminal damage and threatening a person with a knife.


He was sentenced at Woolwich Crown Court on Friday 9 April 2021 to five years and three months’ imprisonment.


Thormann’s first offence took place at a shop in Hillhouse Road, Stone, on 5 December.


CCTV captured him hiding four cans of cider in his coat, before walking to a fridge and placing a can of cola in his pocket.


When challenged by a member of shop staff, he said he would return the items and then attempted to pay for an energy drink at the till.


The transaction was declined by the bank and, in response, he punched a screen in front of the cashier.


He then walked behind the till and assaulted the victim before being escorted away by some members of the public. He left the store with the items he had originally concealed, and an additional packet of cigarettes.


The following evening, he spent several minutes inside a service station in London Road, Greenhithe, before leaving without paying for any items.


Suspecting that a shoplifting offence had occurred, a member of staff followed Thormann outside.


Thormann then pushed the employee to the floor, threatened them with a knife and demanded they hand over their phone. The item was not handed over. 


A member of the public then intervened and was also threatened before Thormann ran away.


He was arrested the following evening and promptly charged. He has been remanded in custody since.


Police Constable Ben Slocombe, Kent Police’s investigating officer for the case, said: ‘Thormann’s actions caused considerable distress to innocent victims and such behaviour cannot go unchallenged.


‘I am pleased we have secured justice for them and am grateful for their assistance in this investigation.


‘I have little doubt that Thormann would have continued to offend had he not been brought into custody when he was and his imprisonment is entirely justified.’