TALLINN -- An Estonian man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for his role in a series of so-called "day trip" robberies in the UK.
Algo Toomits, 31, pled guilty to two robberies -- one in 2006 in Blackpool and one ni 2007 in Leeds -- that netted more than half a million pounds of jewelry.
Toomits entered the stores during regular working hours, pulled out a fake handgun and threatened staff and other customers. Toomits and at least two accomlices used hammers to smash the glass, then grabbed the jewelry and fled.
He said he committed the robberies after a drug habit forced him into debt.
Toomits was caught after leaving a hammer at the scene of the crime. DNA samples taken from the hammer identified him, leading to a search of his apartment and the discovery of a distinctive jacket that he had worn during the robberies.
The crimes had been dubbed "day trip" robberies by UK media because the perpetraters made short trips to the UK with budget airlines to carry out the crimes.