Armed robber who targeted south London bookmakers ‘staffed by women’ jailed for eight years

A “dangerous” criminal who went on a four-month armed robbery spree across south London has been jailed for a minimum of eight years. 

Michael Lindo, 41, terrorised bookmakers across south London from May to September 2022.

Masked, and waving a “highly convincing” imitation firearm, Lindo “thought nothing of terrifying the victims” many of whom “feared for their lives”.

Lindo, who is of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to fifteen offences relating to a total of nine armed and attempted armed robberies. He was sentenced at Croydon Crown Court on Wednesday, June 7. 

Imitation firearm and ammunition used by Lindo. Image: Met Police

Detective Sergeant Paul Bartlett, of the Met Police Flying Squad, said: “Lindo is a prolific and dangerous man who thought nothing of terrifying the victims in these incidents in order to get what he wanted.

“These are people who were going about their work as normal when they were thrust into situations in which they feared for their lives. 

“The effects of these kinds of incidents can’t be underestimated; there may be no physical injury but the psychological impact can be devastating.

“It is no exaggeration to say that London is a safer place with him behind bars.”

Lindo targeted bookmakers across south and south east London, including Peckham, Streatham and Brixton. 

Armed robber Michael LindoArmed robber Michael Lindo. Image: Met Police

In a single day, on Thursday, June 11, he committed attempted armed robberies at three separate gambling shops. 

Police said Lindo would storm into the stores, his face hidden by a mask, and demand cash from the cashier, while threatening them with his imitation firearm. 

According to a sentencing note, he often targeted premises where a lone female member of staff was working – usually during opening or closing time when the shops were empty. 

In total, eleven different staff members were the victims of these robberies, some of whom suffered serious psychological harm.

From May to September 2022, Lindo stole just over £9,000. 

Officers from the Flying Squad, an elite Met Police branch set up to tackle violent crime, began investigating the nice incidents as linked.

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They identified Lindo in September 2022 and officers started surveilling him. 

On September 20, 2022, officers watched as he approached a bookmakers in London Road, Tooting, before using an imitation firearm to threaten staff.

Firearms officers descended and Lindo was swiftly arrested.

According to the Met, the extent of CCTV, surveillance, witness, forensic and mobile phone evidence left Lindo no choice but to plead guilty.

He had been on license having served six years of an eleven-year sentence for a previous armed robbery. 

Here is a breakdown of Lindo’s offences:

  • May 6, 2022: Armed robbery of a betting shop in Lower Addiscombe Road Croydon – £3,342 stolen
  • June 11: Attempted armed robbery of a betting shop in Brockley Road, SE4
  • June 11: Attempted armed robbery of a betting shop in Milkwood Road, SE24
  • June 11: Attempted armed robbery of a betting shop in Acorn Parade, SE15
  • August 11: Armed robbery of a betting shop in Croydon Road, SE20 – £700 stolen
  • August 15: Armed robbery of a betting shop in Brixton Hill, SW2 – £4,500 stolen
  • September 3: Armed robbery of a betting shop in Streatham Road – £475 stolen
  • September 3: Attempted armed robbery of a betting shop in Streatham Road
  • September 20: Attempted armed robbery of a betting shop in London Road, SW17

Robber, who handed note to betting shops saying “give me the money – or I will blow your ******* head off” is jailed via Skype

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