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Teenage car thief locked up after reversing into police during Black Country chase

By John Scott | Tipton | Crime | Published:

A teenage tearaway "obsessed" with cars has been locked up for 12 months after leading police on a high speed eight-minute long pursuit.

Jake Crofts was sentenced to 12 months behind bars

Banned driver Jake Crofts was at the wheel of a stolen car when spotted by the crew of an unmarked BMW police car on New Year's Eve, a judge heard.

The broken back window of the silver Vauxhall Astra was covered with black polystyrene and the vehicle had false plates so the officers followed it along Church Road, Tipton, Wolverhampton Crown Court was told.

Crofts, who had several passengers, realised police were in the vehicle behind him and accelerated away into the distance, said Mr Stuart Clarkson, prosecuting.

The 18-year-old reached speeds of up to 56mph without lights in the dark during several laps of residential streets which have a 30 limit and vehicles parked on either side of the road.

The defendant tore over speed bumps and across junctions without braking before stopping twice to reverse into the police car.

Two or three passengers jumped out and fled on foot before the Astra picked up speed but a tyre started to deflate when it was driven across a stinger laid by colleagues of the pursuing police officers.

Crofts continued for a short distance before turning onto grassland where he allowed the final passenger to run away before the Astra came to a standstill but stayed in the driver's seat until he was arrested.

Official reports to the court described him as "addicted" to driving and "obsessed" with cars.

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Miss Sarah Allen, defending, maintained: "He drifted away from his family, got in with the wrong crowd, received a certain amount of notoriety as a driver and now realises he allowed himself to be used. This was appalling driving but nobody was hurt."

Crofts, from Lichfield Street, Tipton, admitted aggravated vehicle taking and driving while disqualified.

He was ordered to be detained in a Young Offenders Institution for 12 months and banned from driving for two years on his release.

John Scott

By John Scott
Reporter/News Feature Writer

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