Police stopped the vehicle in the early hours of the morning and Sean Orman got out of a passenger seat and fled, jumping over a wall.
But officers later traced Orman, 23, to an address in Pattison Street in Edinburgh and arrested him.
Orman carried out robberies at three betting shops in the city within a fortnight armed with a knife and netted more than £1800.
He was caught on CCTV in the first two raids but donned a balaclava for the third during which he demanded a female employee open a safe or he would hurt her.
Orman, who has previously served a jail sentence for serious assault, first struck on September 24 last year at a branch of William Hill in Bernard Street.
The robber, who had twice been freed on bail earlier in the year from the city’s sheriff court, went up to the counter holding a large knife with an eight inch blade.
He told employee Glen Bettany: “Just keep calm and give me the money. Don’t mess me about, just give me the money.”
Advocate depute Alex Prentice QC told the High Court in Edinburgh that Orman put a black bag on the counter.
The robbery victim took banknotes from the till and put them in the bag but Orman asked for more cash and was given coins.
Orman kept pointing the knife at Mr Bettany and demanded more and cash was taken from a safe and put in his bag before he escaped with a total of £470.
The robber struck again five days later at a branch of Ladbrokes in Longstone Road.
Orman went in in the evening when John Donnelly was working alone in the premises which had no customers at the time.
He ran up to him and demanded money, but Mr Donnelly grabbed hold of him and they began struggling.
But Orman pulled a knife from the plastic bag he was carrying and the employee let him go.
Orman went straight to the till and demanded to know where the safe was. He took cash from the safe and till and got away with £962.
He struck again during the robbery spree on October 6 at a branch of William Hill in Balgreen Road where Vicky Kerr was working alone with one customer in the shop at the time
Mr Prentice said: “He jumped over the shop counter. He was wearing a black balaclava which had holes for his eyes and mouth.”
“The accused said: ‘Give me the money’ and told her to open the safe or he would hurt her. He was holding a knife,” said the prosecutor.
Orman opened the till drawer which had about £200 in it. The employee told him that was all there was in the shop but he called her a “f***ing liar” and demanded she open the safe. He got a further £200 from the safe before leaving and getting into a car.
The customer who had been in the shop had left to phone police when he realised a robbery was taking place and passed on the registration of the vehicle.
Orman’s DNA was found inside a balaclava recovered in the car and was also on the handle of a carrier bag containing money which was also discovered. A knife was also found in the car.
Unemployed Orman, of no fixed abode, admitted carrying out the three robberies while on bail at the time, when he appeared in court today.
The judge, Lady Wolffe, pointed out he had a very serious record for someone of his age.
She deferred sentence on Orman until next month to obtain a background report on him containing a risk assessment. He was remanded in custody.