A robber who snatched a schoolboy’s iPhone at knifepoint has been jailed for five-and-a-half years after the brave 12-year-old victim chased him across a city.
Terence Jones, 22, pounced on the lad as he made his way home from school at 3.30pm on July 12 in Bordesley Green, near Birmingham city centre.
The thug grabbed the schoolboy from behind and snatched the handset from his pocket after threatening him with a six inch blade.
But instead of running home to his mother, the determined youngster set off in pursuit of Jones – even managing to ask a member of the public to report the robbery with a description of the attacker.
Jones eventually escaped the schoolboy’s attention by hiding in a garden – but was followed by a suspicious neighbour when he emerged.
Unbeknown to the robber, the Good Samaritan tracked him by car and relayed his movements to police as he boarded the number 97 bus.
Officers intercepted the bus minutes later and arrested the stunned robber on the top deck – before finding the boy’s phone stuffed down the side of a seat.
Jones, from Harborne in Birmingham, was caged for five-and-a-half years at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday after admitting the robbery.
Speaking after the case, Investigating officer DC Ian Clifford, from West Midlands Police said: “These days people are quite cynical about community spirit but this is a great example of Good Samaritans coming to the aid of a young victim, not turning a blind eye, and enabling police to make a swift arrest.
“After boarding the bus Jones, who was sweating and out of breath, clearly thought he’d made a successful.
“He was certainly surprised to see the arresting officers when they appeared up the stairs.”
West Midlands Police Chief Inspector Adrian Atherley, added: “In the New Year and September we run dedicated operations on public transport aimed at protecting school pupils, offering crime prevention advice and encouraging them to be more ‘street savvy’ by not showing-off gadgets or phones.
“However, there may be opportunist thieves hoping to take advantage of anyone displaying valuables so don’t flash them unnecessarily and try to be aware of who’s around you.”