A thief who used a cane as a fake shotgun to raid a series of south London bookmakers has been brought to justice after giving his name to a ticket inspector.
Brett Mullan, 51, of Gravesend, pleaded guilty at Snaresbrook Crown Court on Monday to five counts of robbery and five counts of possession of an imitation firearm.
He will appear for sentencing in the same court on Monday, August 1.
Detectives from the Met’s Flying Squad investigated a linked series of armed robberies at bookmakers in Lee, Norwood, Sutton and Crayford in less than three weeks between Monday April 4 and Sunday April 24.
They discovered that a suspect was traveling to and from the offenses by train and obtained CCTV of him.
Mullan was stopped on a train by a ticket inspector on his way to the second violation at Burnt Ash Road in Lee on April 13 and provided his real name.
Officers found footage of each flight and of Mullan leaving and returning to his home. He was arrested on April 25 after leaving his home and charged.
When police searched his home, they found a collapsible cane, which they discovered Mullan was using to look like a shotgun by hiding it in a carry bag.
A total of £2,780 was stolen during the robberies.
Detective Constable Carl Stallabras said: ‘Mullan terrified members of the public and bookmakers’ staff going about their normal lives when he demanded money and made threats of serious violence. These people feared for their lives.
“But a simple mistake on the way to the second offense was all we needed to find him, and from there the wealth of evidence we obtained left him with no choice but to plead guilty. “
The thefts took place at High Street, Sutton on April 4, Burnt Ash Road, Lee on April 13, Burnt Ash Road again on April 18, High Street, Norwood Junction on April 23 and Crayford Road, Crayford on April 24 .