Northampton

Elvis fancy dress robber Martin Reilly admits armed raids

CCTV photos of Martin Reilly attempting to raid William Hill bookmakers in Hove, Brighton
Image caption Martin Reilly admitted raiding bookmakers in fancy dress

An armed robber has pleaded guilty to raiding a string of bookmakers in fancy dress disguises, including an Elvis Presley outfit.

Martin Reilly, 53, from Northamptonshire, stole more than £20,000 in a crime wave that police say started in Kettering last June and swept through the country.

Reilly admitted charges of robbery, attempted robbery and possession of an imitation firearm at Lewes Crown Court.

He will be sentenced in April.

Homeless Reilly, formerly of Kettering, sparked a nationwide manhunt after targeting shops as they opened, while dressed in various disguises.

Police accused him of raiding 11 bookmakers across Northamptonshire, Sussex, Hampshire, Surrey, Bedfordshire and Essex.

Reilly, who has been remanded in custody, admitted 15 of the 20 charges but denied the raids in Kettering on 13 June, Bedford on 17 June and an attempted robbery in Eastbourne on 17 July.

Those five charges are to lie on Reilly's file.

Det Insp Ian Still, of Sussex Police, who led the inquiry, said: "This was a demanding investigation but one which was particularly satisfying."

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