A burglar has been jailed for a smash-and-grab raid on a York jewellery shop in broad daylight.
Nizar Kejman, 29, used a lump hammer to smash the front window at Ramsdens jewellers, causing about £1,000 of damage, before reaching inside to grab a handful of what he presumed to be expensive gems.
However, the stolen items turned out to be display jewellery which was practically worthless, York Crown Court heard.
The brazen thief was chased by passers-by and an off-duty officer who detained him until police arrived, said prosecutor Brooke Morrison.
He had cycled to the jewellery shop in Market Street armed with a mallet or lump hammer.
Kejman was seen “loitering around” the jewellers by witnesses who noticed he had a weapon.
“He used (the hammer) to repeatedly hit the Ramsdens store window, smashing the glass,” said Ms Morrison.
“He reached inside and grabbed a handful of jewellery, before running away, leaving his bike.”
He was chased down by the witnesses who restrained him until police arrived to arrest him. Officers seized the mallet and the jewellery from him.
“The jewellery was in fact display jewellery for the (Ramsdens) window, but he didn’t know that,” said Ms Morrison.
Kejman, whose immigration status was “uncertain”, was brought in for questioning but made no comment.
However, he ultimately admitted the burglary and appeared for sentence today after being remanded in custody.
The court heard he had 13 previous convictions for 18 offences including shoplifting, fraud, battery and travelling on the railways without paying. In April last year he received a six-month jail sentence for carrying a knife.
His solicitor advocate Kevin Blount said Kejman was homeless at the time of the jewellery raid.
He added that Kejman, of Darnell Place, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, “didn’t know that the jewellery was worthless”.
Recorder Tahir Khan KC told Kejman: “I have no doubt you were intending to steal items with a lot of value and expecting to get away with these items of jewellery, as you thought them to be.
“As it turned out, the jewellery that you took…was display jewellery and of little value, but you were not to know that.”
He added: “Your offending is made more serious because you went armed with a lump hammer in broad daylight and…anybody who was close by, seeing you carrying (that weapon), would have been frightened by the sight.”
Mr Khan said the offence was aggravated by Kejman’s “repeated criminal behaviour over a number of years”.
Kejman received a 10-month jail sentence but he will only serve half of that behind bars before being released on prison licence.