Boastful thief caught out by text messages

Robert Prescott
Robert Prescott
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A thief who threatened a man and stole his laptop was caught after he sent text messages to his friends boasting about his crime.

And Robert Prescott also sent out messages from his phone asking anyone if they wanted to buy the computer he had stolen from 21-year-old Alex Minuti.

When police officers acted on tip-offs from the Leyland community and arrested Prescott last September, they seized his mobile and found he had left the messages on it.

Today Mr Minuti spoke out about the incident, which happened in September last year, after Prescott was sentenced to 20 months in a young offenders institution by Preston Crown Court. The incident happened as Mr Minuti, from Leyland, who worked in the clothing shop at the time, was walking home along Golden Hill Lane, Leyland.

Prescott rode up to him on a moped and threatened him before snatching his bag.

Mr Minuti said: “I was walking home from work just minding my own business and was going towards the bus station at Leyland.

“Out of nowhere this guy pulls up in front of me.”

Prescott swore at his victim and told him to walk down an alley on a new housing estate opposite the Argos store.

“Me, scared out of my mind, cooperated. I went down the alley and I said I don’t want to start any trouble.

“He tried to grab my bag and he had hold of one handle and I had the other. He grabbed it off my shoulders and I lost my grip.” Prescott then asked his victim what was inside the bag. Mr Minuti said his laptop was inside and, after grabbing that, he asked if there was anything else he could steal.

Mr Minuti refused to let him steal his mobile phone from his pocket and Prescott then told him to get out of the alley.

He added: “I was just stood there in shock. He tried to run into me with the moped two or three times and he was saying, ‘Get out of the alley, do you want knocking out?’

“Then he rode off with his feet covering the numberplate so he looked like he had done it before and he knew what he was doing.

“After it happened, for the first one or two months I was a bit weary about where I was going. I used to walk home from work all the time but after that I got the bus.

“He could get out earlier with good behaviour so (the sentence) could have been a bit longer.”

Prescott, 20, formerly of Crown Street, Leyland, was given the sentence at Preston Crown Court this week after pleading guilty to robbery earlier in the year.

Det Cons Dave Johnson, of Leyland CID, said: “We are pleased with the sentence. It sends out a message that, although these kinds of street robberies may appear trivial, people should realise these are the kinds of sentences they will get.

“Prescott is a violent individual who targeted this man in a random attack. I am satisfied with the sentence given and I hope that the victim will now be able to move on with his life.”