Little detective work was required to identify an armed robber who used his own car in the daylight hold-up of an liquor store, then targeted a supermarket while wearing the same clothes a day later.
Michael Dobbs, 40, was captured on CCTV threatening the lone sales assistant with a hammer at Vintage Cellars in Oaks Estate just before 2pm on March 23, 2018.
The worker ran outside and yelled for help as Dobbs went behind the counter and tried to force open the cash registers.
When Dobbs could not open the tills he picked one up and carried it out the door, but briefly had to head back in to free the machine from a variety of cables that were still attached.
Nearly $2200 was stolen, but the company that ran the liquor store suffered a loss of more than $13,000 because the cables had dragged from the counter and damaged several items including another till.
The next day, ACT Policing heard from NSW Police that Dobbs was in custody across the border for robbing a Queanbeyan supermarket using a syringe filled with red Gatorade.
He had also resisted arrest and assaulted NSW Police officers who found him wearing the same clothes seen on CCTV in the Oaks Estate incident.
The car Dobbs had been seen driving in the Vintage Cellars footage was registered in his name and located in Queanbeyan.
Dobbs was later sentenced in the Queanbeyan District Court to three years and one month in jail for the NSW offences. He served one year behind bars and was released on parole in March 2019.
He was not charged in the ACT over the Oaks Estate incident until earlier this year, when he pleaded guilty to aggravated robbery and property damage.
An ACT Supreme Court judgment published on Thursday shows that when Dobbs appeared for sentence last week, Justice Mossop described his method of offending as "unsophisticated".
Justice Mossop said the liquor store was "an obvious and vulnerable target", however, indicating that there had been some level of planning.
The judgment shows that Dobbs, who lives in Queanbeyan, told the author of a pre-sentence report that he committed the offences because he needed money to repay drug debts.
He gave evidence in court that he felt "revolted" by his offending, and detailed plans to set up a cooking school at his church.
He said he was already playing music in a band and writing a children's book.
Dobbs also complained of being "stood over" and assaulted twice while in jail in NSW.
In sentencing, Justice Mossop noted that Dobbs was still on parole in NSW and any sentence imposed in the ACT would need to take this into account.
"Had the offender been sentenced on a single occasion for the separate incidents committed in the different jurisdictions one day apart it is likely that ... a degree of concurrency would have been introduced into the sentences," he said.
The judge said he was confident Dobbs was "on the road to re-establishing his life in a functional and relatively drug-free manner".
He also believed Dobbs would be keen not to put himself in a position where he might have to go back behind bars.
"Having had the benefit of seeing and hearing the offender give evidence, the impression that he gives is of an anxious man who found his period of full-time detention pursuant to the NSW sentence absolutely terrifying," Justice Mossop said.
The judge sentenced Dobbs to a total of two-and-a-half years in jail, wholly suspended, for the ACT offences. He also imposed associated good behaviour orders.