A bank robber has been jailed for 10 years after being caught when a witness remembered the personalised number plate on his car.
James Snell, 27, of Cardiff, used his BMW with the number J4 MES to plan a raid on the Halifax, where he and accomplices stole £100,000.
A member of the public remembered seeing the car as the gang stole drain covers used to smash the front window.
Snell admitted robbery at Cardiff Crown Court. Three others were also jailed.
Carl Campion, 44, of Birmingham, denied robbery but was convicted and sentenced to 12 years.
Snell’s brother Wayne, 34, also of Cardiff, and Adam Abbott, 38, of Hyde, Manchester, both admitted robbery and were jailed for eight years each.
The court heard that the gang decided to steal a heavy drain cover from the road to smash their way into a Halifax branch in Roath, Cardiff.
A passer-by saw the car as it was stopped while one of the four lifted the drain cover from the road, and remembered the distinctive number plate.