David Goldsmith entered Tesco Express in Stewartby Avenue at about 7pm on August 27 and made demands to one of the shop workers to open the tills and give him money.
The employee refused to hand anything over and Goldsmith left empty handed.
Sixteen minutes later, Goldsmith went into the Co-op in Eagle Way, walked up to a shop worker and said “I’m coming to rob the store, put all the cash in a bag, I’m going to rob you”.
The member of staff refused to hand anything over and again Goldsmith left empty handed.
Meanwhile, two security guards entered the Tesco Express store to get some food when they were told about what had just happened.
Realising the offender might target another store and that the Co-op was the next nearest shop, they made their way there where they are told about another attempted robbery and managed to chase after Goldsmith.
The pair chased him up to Serpentine Green shopping centre and detained him until police arrived.
Goldsmith was arrested and searched which revealed a kitchen knife with a seven-inch blade and two pairs of hairdressing scissors tucked down the back of his trousers.
He was further arrested and later charged with two counts of attempted robbery, as well as two counts of possession of a bladed article in a public place.
Goldsmith, of no fixed address, appeared at Peterborough Crown Court on Monday (November 22) after admitting the offences and was sentenced to a year and two months in prison, suspended for two years.
He must complete a 20-day rehabilitation activity requirement (RAR) and 200 hours’ unpaid work.
DC Pete Wise, who investigated, said: “Had the two security guards not intervened when they did, we could well of had a third incident on our hands.
“Thankfully Goldsmith didn’t use the weapons he had on him, but we do not know what his intentions were. I would strongly advise anyone who knows someone who carries a knife to get in touch with us.”
Anyone with information about someone who carries a weapon is urged to report it to police online.