A prolific shoplifter who threatened local supermarket staff with a machete and a needle during a week long crime spree has been jailed for over four years by Birmingham Crown Court.
37 year old Daniel Heaney – of no fixed abode – stole from stores six times in a week during August before officers found him hiding in a tent in woods close to the Asda store in Barnes Hill – a supermarket he had targeted five times during the 7 days.
Heaney’s spree began on 13th August when he stole bottles of vodka from Sainsbury’s in Northfield. Challenged by a security guard, Heaney pulled out a syringe. He said he had HIV and threatened to jab the guard with the needle before fleeing the shop.
In subsequent days, Heaney targeted the Barnes Hill Asda store five times. Again, he used the needle threat to ward off staff.
On Sunday 19th August, Heaney threatened an Asda staff member with a machete before making off with electronics.
Heaney was caught when police flooded the Barnes Hill area after he struck the Asda store again on Monday 20th August, this time to steal candles.
After a search, involving armed response officers and a National Police Air Support helicopter, Heaney was found in woodland off Middleacre Road – in a tent he was believed to have been living in.
Heaney stole items included clothing, electrical goods and accessories and admitted five counts of theft, a robbery and possession of an offensive weapon.
At Birmingham Crown Court last Wednesday (19th September) he was sentenced to four years and four months in prison.
Detective Inspector Gemma Currie from force CID, said: “Heaney was proving a prolific thief and thought nothing of intimidating and terrorising others in the process. I hope his sentence provides some comfort to those he has traumatised with his threats.”