Two men have been jailed for armed robberies on shops after a police officer identified one of them by his voice and walk.
Jeffrey Chikosha and Brandon Jarrett threatened staff and shoppers with samurai swords as they stole cigarettes and cash from three stores in 2021.
Despite wearing masks the pair were tracked down after a police officer recognised Chikosha on CCTV.
A third member of the gang is still unidentified, police said.
The first raid took place on 13 December when the three masked men burst into Skelton Wood Post Office and threatened staff before escaping in a waiting car.
Ten days later they attacked a Londis store in Wetherby Road.
A customer in the shop challenged them telling them to “make it quick and leave” and warned them he would start to retaliate by throwing things, police said.
He then threw a box of beer at the robbers who fled the store.
On 29 December the gang struck again at the Co-op, in Selby Road,
Det Con Alan Andrews attended the scene minutes after the suspects had left and identified Chikosha from the shop’s CCTV footage.
Chikosha, 25, of Wykebeck Mount, Leeds was sentenced to nine years imprisonment at Leeds Crown Court after being found guilty of the armed robberies and three counts of possession of samurai swords.
Jarrett, 23, of Haugh Shaw Road, Halifax, pleaded guilty to the same offences and was sentenced to six years and nine months.
Det Insp Vicky Vessey said the robbers put their victims “through really frightening ordeals”.
“It is important that we recognise the incredible bravery of the customer who, despite facing three masked men armed with swords, stood up to them, fought back and chased them from the store,” she said.
“While we always advise people caught up in such potentially dangerous situations to put their safety first, his actions clearly made the difference in bringing this incident to a conclusion before anyone was seriously hurt.
“We know that offenders like them brag about ‘no face, no case’ if they wear masks while committing offences, but DC Andrews’ detailed knowledge of local criminals and investigative skills have shown them that their arrogance is misplaced.”