Equipped with a blue BB gun, Daryl Cook entered the High Street store in February 2020 and stole a large quantity of cash after threatening members of staff with the weapon.
The 36-year-old, of Bryant Street, Chatham, admitted robbery and possessing an imitation firearm at the time of committing an offence and was sentenced at Maidstone Crown Court on Friday 30 October 2020.
Cook, dressed in a black tracksuit and wearing purple latex gloves, targeted the travel agent at around 3.50pm on 12 February.
Immediately after entering he produced the weapon and threatened three employees, who he ushered towards the foreign currency exchange office.
Cook then demanded they open a safe but, due to there being a time lock, they were unable to do so.
The offender then demanded staff open a different till and he stole a large quantity of cash from its tray, which he placed into a carrier bag before leaving the scene on foot.
He was detained a fortnight later, when officers noticed the blue handgun in the pocket of one of his jackets after attending his home.
A further search of the address led to officers finding the same clothing he had worn during the robbery. The victims were also able to identity him from a subsequent identity procedure.
In addition to the charges relating to the robbery offence, Cook admitted four separate counts of theft which were committed against the same supermarket in Maidstone Road, Chatham, across December 2019 and January 2020. Products worth more than £700 were taken as a result of the offending.
He also admitted two offences which were committed in Chatham on 24 December 2019 – the burglary of a premises in The Brook, which led to no items being stolen, and possessing amphetamines. He also admitted stealing a DVD player from a shop in Maidstone Road, Chatham, on 18 December.
Detective Constable Richard Sears, from Kent Police’s Chief Constable’s Crime Squad, said: ‘Cook is a serial thief who has shown he is prepared to use violence as a means to steal money.
‘Although the weapon used during the robbery was not capable of firing live ammunition, it still had the capability to inflict serious injury and the victims were, understandably, extremely distressed by the incident.
‘I am pleased that we have secured justice for them. I also have little doubt that if Cook was not arrested when he was, he would have continued to have stolen from law abiding businesses across Medway. His imprisonment is a good result for the towns.’