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A knife-wielding robber who terrorised taxi drivers in Birmingham has been locked up for 10 years - after being tracked down by West Midlands Police.
Mohammed Abdurahman booked cabs under false names before ambushing drivers alongside accomplices - some armed with weapons - as they demanded cash and personal belongings.
On two occasions drivers were forced into the back seat of their own vehicles as they were assaulted and driven away as part of the terrifying ordeals.
The 19 year-old was behind three robberies in Bartley Green between October and December last year.
The first saw him and others threaten the driver with knives in Corn Mill Grove on the evening of 27 October; they took two high-value mobile phones, PDA system and cash.
During the second occasion on 30 October he booked a taxi from Mill Lane, Bartley Green, for one passenger into the City Centre but was joined by two others.
Abdurahman punched the driver in the face and then pulled out a 12-inch knife demanding money.
He dragged the victim into the back of his VW Touran where he was taken to a cashpoint and - despite a failed attempt to withdraw money from the machine - a phone, money on the cabbie and his car were taken.
On the third occasion - again in Mill Lane on 8 December - he claimed to want to go to Heartlands Hospital but made the driver get out the car and let off suspected CS spray in his face.
The victim was then driven to a secluded area where Abduraham made off with an Apple Watch while his two accomplices made off with a mobile phone and satnav.
Checks of CCTV and links on social media led officers to track down Abdurahman and he was arrested at his home in Rush Green, Bartley Green, on 10 December.
He tried to hide the watch which had been stolen during the last robbery but eagle-eyed officers spotted this and were able to confirm it belonged to the last victim.
Abdurahman initially denied any involvement in police interview but he went on to plead guilty to three charges of robbery, two of kidnapping, and having offensive weapons.
He was sentenced to 10 years at a young offenders institute at Birmingham Crown Court last Monday (10 April). Investigations continue into others involved in the robberies.
DC Darren Lennox, from Force CID, said: "These were terrifying experiences for the three victims who were out and about doing their normal business.
"These were particularly violent robberies where Abdurahman played a lead role.
"He initially refused to accept responsibility for these horrible crimes, but the weight of evidence built up against him. This sentence should serve as a strong warning that such behaviour will not be tolerated."
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