A ROBBER finally put behind bars for a terrifying raid on a Sheffield B&Q store had lived under a false identity for years while on the run abroad, the detective who led the hunt has revealed.
Steven Brammer, aged 52, from Handsworth, was part of a masked gang of three men who tied up and threatened 27 workers with knives and machetes at the DIY superstore on Queens Road, before making off with over £16,400.
Det Sgt John McCurrie, of South Yorkshire Police, said Brammer then fled the country within weeks of the robbery in December 2004, with intelligence over the years linking him to Spain, Portugal and Holland.
DS McCurrie says police then endured a ‘frustrating’ hunt for the robber before he was caught by officers who pulled him over in a car near Bedford last year.
The car was being driven in a suspicious manner, and once stopped Brammer was found with more than 25kg of cannabis.
DS McCurrie said the hunt ‘wasn’t a standard investigation’.
“The hunt for him was very frustrating – obviously his ability and his connections are what allowed him to stay on the run for so long.
“It wasn’t a standard investigation because he was able to keep moving.”
Following his arrest over the drugs, officers discovered Brammer – described in court as a professional criminal – had been living under an assumed name, DS McCurrie added.
“They disbelieved who he was saying he was, because he was giving these false details, but once arrested he confessed to who he was.
“He claimed he was in Holland at the time of the robbery – to really set up his alibi he created documents and got a couple of witnesses who were prepared to testify for him.”
Police then probed Brammer’s links to Holland and were able to disprove his story. He was linked to the robbery by DNA on a balaclava left 200 yards from B&Q.
“He had moved out of the country within weeks – we certainly tracked down his false ID going back to 2005. When he was arrested, his base country I’m quite sure was still abroad,” DS McCurrie said.
The detective said he was happy Brammer is beginning a long jail sentence.
“Obviously it’s never nice when you know somebody is responsible for a crime – it’s quite simply a case of getting hold of them,” he said.
“I know some of the B&Q staff have been anxious, knowing it’s a Sheffield man that’s been on the loose – they were the first people to be contacted when an arrest was made.
“In effect all he’s done is delay his prison sentence.”
Brammer’s accomplice Jason Williams was jailed for 18 years.