Teenagers jailed for violent robbery spree across West Midlands
Two teenagers who carried out a number of robberies armed with knives across the West Midlands to steal cars have been jailed.
West Midlands Police has released CCTV footage showing the two teenagers – one armed with a large 'zombie knife' – smashing their way inside a Birmingham home during a car robbery spree.
Dylan Harrison, 18, and a 17-year-old – who cannot be named for legal reasons – embarked on a violent campaign of break-ins over the space of just a few days in February – including an attempt to break into a home in Netherton, in Dudley.
CCTV footage shows the pair, plus an unidentified third offender, attacking a property in Tudor Close, in Kings Heath, on February 10 – as they threatened the homeowner for keys to his VW Golf and BMW X1.
WATCH: Violent teenagers smash their way into Birmingham home during robbery
A paving slab, garden statue and a plant pot were hurled through a glass door panel before knife-wielding Harrison chopped at the window frame with a machete, as the victim bravely tried fending them off with a cricket bat.
They eventually made off with the cars – but the following day West Midlands Police officers tracked them down to an address in Sid Courtney Road, Tiddington, in Stratford-upon-Avon, where they were arrested in a morning raid.
Officers found several stolen cars parked nearby, keys to other stolen vehicles – plus the 'zombie knife' and skeleton Halloween masks worn during other robberies.
Harrison, of no fixed address, admitted five robberies and two attempted robberies. While his younger co-defendant admitted one less robbery but instead pleaded guilty to handling a car stolen from that address.
On Friday, Harrison was jailed for 12 years, while the 17-year-old was sent to a young offenders institute for nine years and nine months.
The teenagers' robbery campaign started on February 3, when Harrison smashed his way inside a house in Beechwood Park Road, in Solihull, and threatened a resident with a meat cleaver – before stealing his VW Type R Golf.
Another Golf was taken the next day in Sarehole Road, in Hall Green, by intruders wearing skeleton masks and brandishing claw hammers – some residents hid in the loft, while a man and his daughter fled into the street to escape the attackers.
A man was car-jacked of his Golf GTi on the driveway of his home in Allesley Road, in Olton, on February 7, and an Audi SQ5 was taken on February 9 in Avon Road, in Shirley.
They also made unsuccessful attempts to steal cars after smashing windows at homes in Arundel Road, in Highters Heath, and in Saltwells Road, in Netherton, on February 3 and 10 respectively.
West Midlands Police Detective Sergeant Steve Goult described the offences as shocking given the age of the offenders and the extreme levels of violence used to steal cars.
He said: “These teenagers were smashing their way into family homes in the evening at around the time children were preparing for bed.
“Weapons were used and violence threatened; one victim had a meat cleaver held to his throat as they demanded keys to his vehicle. Some of the victims are struggling with the long-term psychological impact of their ordeals.
“All of the offences they admitted were carried out inside just seven days but we suspect the pair were actually responsible for several other break-ins and car thefts.
“They were brazen and cocky in their offending and we recovered images from social media and on their phones of them posing in stolen cars.
“These are two young men, just starting out in life, but that’s no excuse and the judge has rightly handed down very strong sentences for what were vicious robberies. Anyone prepared to use this level of violence, no matter what age, can expect to be locked up for a long time."
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