A man has been found guilty of armed robbery following a three day trial at Dorchester Crown Court.
Colin Paul Douglas, of no fixed abode, threatened a Portland taxi driver with a handgun before tying him up and stealing money at garages on Harbour View Road on Friday, 25 February 2011.
He was found guilty on Thursday, 6th October 2011 and has now been convicted of a total of 18 offences during recent court cases.
These crimes, which all took place in the Weymouth and Dorchester areas, include two armed robberies, using a firearm with intent, arson, burglary and aggravated vehicle taking.
Dorset Police launched an extensive search for Douglas following an armed robbery at Abbotsbury Road Post Office on Wednesday, 2 March of this year – just days after the robbery of the taxi driver.
Officers appealed for public help to trace Colin Douglas after he had stolen thousands of pounds from the Post Office and threatened a police officer with a firearm before fleeing the scene.
The 26-year-old was arrested in a wooded area near Whitcombe Stables on Friday, 4th March 2011, following a pursuit.
Douglas was subsequently charged with both robberies, as well as the burglary and arson of Dorchester Waste Paper Unit, theft from a Weymouth store, burglary at a Weymouth house, the theft of a vehicle from the Granby Industrial Estate and other offences.
Detective Superintendent Colin Stanger, Head of CID, said:
“Colin Douglas poses a great risk to the public, so these 18 convictions represent a significant result for local people.
“I would like to thank the Weymouth community for the brilliant response during the hunt for Douglas and throughout the investigation and court cases.
“Members of the public provided us with vital information when we were searching for Douglas and essential evidence after police arrested him.
"The victims also showed great courage during the trials, having to relive these distressing incidents after Douglas pleaded ‘not guilty’ at court.
“I would also like to acknowledge the bravery of our officers – who made a night-time arrest of an armed man in a wooded area – and the quality of the subsequent investigation.
“As a result of the community, local media, police and partners all working together, a dangerous man was apprehended and I am certain that Weymouth and Dorchester will be safer with Douglas behind bars.”
Colin Douglas will be sentenced at Dorchester Crown Court on Friday, 9th December 2011.