David Seedo, 23, was jailed for 13-years for crimes including five robberies and five attempted armed robberies after a Leeds Crown Court judge heard he left a number of shop staff traumatised.
Police investigating a spate of robberies over seven weeks in April and May 2018 arrested Seedo on May 29 2018 and searched his home on Queenswood Drive, Kirkstall.
Officers found a bag in the hallway containing Seedo's 'robbery kit' including a black handgun and a balaclava.
The gun was found to be a child's toy - designed to fire foam pellets - which had been painted black to look like a real weapon.
Prosecutor, Duncan Ritchie said one of a number of handwritten notes found in Seedo's house appeared to be an apology dated May 13 to the two female shop assistants working at the One Stop Shop on Oatland Lane in Leeds which he robbed at gunpoint on on May 13.
Mr Ritchie said the note read: "Sorry from robber to ladies who I victimised. I am unable to work due to being hurt by an idiot some time ago.
"I'd like to assure you that was a water pistol in my hand. I only needed the money because I was having some financial problems.
"Please understand I didn't mean to hurt you and I am as safe as Brian from Family Guy. I'll never do it again."
The court heard Seedo's crime spree started on April 6 when he attempted to rob a bicycle from pawn shop Cash Planet on Kirkstall Road.
Mr Ritchie said Seedo, now of New Briggate, Leeds, told a shop worker "I'm taking the bike or I'll shoot you" before fleeing empty handed after a struggle.
The court heard the shop worker has since suffered flashbacks and anxiety.
Seedo robbed the Zayka Indian restaurant on Spen Lane in Leeds of £30 just before 9pm on May 5 2018.
Around two-hours later he attempted to rob the Co-op store on Broadway, Kirkstall .
Just after 1.30pm on May 13 Seedo, pointed a gun at a woman working at the One Stop Shop on Oatland Lane, Leeds, and stole £190 from the till.
Mr Ritchie said the woman was left "shaking and upset" had to leave her job and is now unemployed.
Seedo attempted to rob J Newsagents at Kirkstall just before 7pm on May 22 and just over ten-minutes later he attempted to rob the Co-op on Swinnow Lane.
At around 8.30pm on the same night, Seedo attempted to rob Londis Post Office on Cockshott Lane while brandishing what appeared to be a gun wrapped in a plastic bag.
Mr Ritchie said Seedo told the man behind the counter: "Put the money on the counter or I will shoot you."
Seedo also robbed the One Stop Shop on Hyde Park Road of £450 on May 23 and robbed The One Stop Shop on Burley Road of £600 cash on May 27 and of £300 on May 28.
Seedo admitted five robberies, five attempted robberies, two attempted thefts and seven offences of having an imitation firearm with intent.
Mitigating, Kitty Colley said he had suffered "significant childhood trauma" and was injured in a motorbike accident in January 2018.
Ms Colley said he is genuinely remorseful, adding: "He said I have hurt so many people, I deserve to be punished."
Judge Simon Phillips QC jailed Seedo for 13-years.