Tazviona Bhebe was caught on CCTV attempting to hold up a London convenience store using a pair of baggy grey underpants as a disguise.
With the crotch hanging over his nose, the 40-year-old can be seen threatening the shop assistant at Broadway Mini-Market in Sutton with a knife. But his not-so-cunning plan backfired.
Not only could his face clearly be seen on the shop’s CCTV, but the shopkeeper turned the tables by bashing his hapless attacker on the head with an A-frame advertising board.
Bhebe was forced to flee and removed his disguise. Alas, it revealed another flaw in his plan. The robber had chosen a store around the corner from his home and was immediately recognised by neighbours as he escaped.
Shop assistant Hari A Mahalingham, 33, who had been helping out at the store as a favour, said: “I couldn’t believe it when he came in wearing this underwear on his head, it was a pointless disguise and I recognised him straight away.
“He pointed the knife at me and tried to take all the money from the till. I wasn’t scared, unfortunately someone pulling a knife is an occupational hazard. I tried to talk him out of it, telling him it was a bad idea and he would regret it but he wouldn’t listen.”
Bhebe was arrested and jailed for three years at Croydon crown court after pleading guilty to robbery.
A police spokesman said: “It’s fair to say that this man is not a master of disguise. Not only was there CCTV footage but there was also forensic evidence and witness statements and descriptions from the sales assistant and a large number of passers-by. But this lack of sophistication should not detract from what was a serious offence. He threatened a shop assistant with a knife and it is important that he has been brought to justice.”