An “armed” robber was forced to buy a 99p cheeseburger so staff could open the till at the McDonald’s he was attempting to rob.
Daniel Parra-Braun, 37, burst into the fast-food restaurant and placed a note on the counter which read: “I am armed. Give till cash now.”
But he was left stunned when he was told the tills would not open unless he bought something off the menu.
Incredibly, Parra-Braun ordered a 99p cheeseburger and even handed over a £5 note before making off with £136 in cash.
The bizarre robbery was one of four Parra-Braun carried out in Coventry in just 12 hours before being caught on June 16 last year.
Parra-Braun, of Coventry, has now been jailed for five years after he admitted two charges of robbery and two attempted robberies at Warwick Crown Court.
Judge Peter Cooke told him: “I accept that this bizarre few hours in your life was the product of something of a psychiatric collapse you had suffered.
“Your behaviour has that peculiar flavour to it and was not just about obtaining money.
“There is no suggestion you produced or had a weapon, but the people on the other end of the threats were not to know that.”
The court heard Parra-Braun struck at the McDonald’s on the Gallagher Retail Park in Coventry at 8pm on June 16.
He marched up to the counter and told the terrified server: “Give me the money from the till. You’re going to have to, I’m armed.”
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The man behind the counter said he could not open the till until a purchase was made so Parra-Braun ordered a cheeseburger and gave him £5.
The assistant still did not hand over any money, but the manager gave him £136 from the till, and Parra-Braun fled.
Earlier in the day, Parra-Braun also held up another McDonald’s as well as a bookmakers and a hotel in the city.
The court heard Parra-Braun had 11 convictions for offences including theft.
Ian Windridge, defending, said: “He has mental health conditions, but they did not
contribute to the offending, nor did they require hospital treatment.
“He goes back to Coventry. He doesn’t really know what he’s doing. He makes comments and writes notes.
"He wasn’t in need of money. It was a cry for help, but not a substantial one.”