Police released the image of a man they wanted to speak to after the nasty street attack in Lye and within hours a number of people had got in touch with information that proved vital in identifying Shoaib Iqbal (right) as the robber – even though he’d already tried to change his appearance by shaving his head.
Iqbal, aged 20, had seen his victim take out cash from the post office in Lye on 9 March and followed the 65-year-old man to an alleyway off Chapel Street where he dragged him to the ground and ripped his wallet from his pocket.
The man fortunately suffered only bumps and bruises, but was understandably very shaken by the attack. Iqbal stole £200 and ran off.
Following our appeal, we visited Iqbal’s home where officers found him hiding upstairs. He’d even shaved his head in an attempt to alter his look from the bushy-haired suspect shown in the images we’d released.
But his ultimate downfall came when we found messages on his mobile phone from friends telling him he was ‘famous’ and all over Facebook wanted for robbery. He’d even sent one friend a photo of his freshly shaved head.
Sadly throughout all of those messages with his friends and his interactions with police officers during the case, he has not shown any remorse.
But Iqbal, of Belmont Road, Lye, did plead guilty to robbery and on Wednesday (13 January) was sentenced to three years at Birmingham Crown Court.
DC Neil Payton, of Force CID, said: “This was a really nasty street robbery by a man who then tried to change his appearance to evade justice.
“But with the help of the public Iqbal, who had no previous convictions, is now behind bars.
“We hope that this result brings comfort to his victim and also shows that committing such offences can lead to a custodial sentence.”