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“Professional car thief” crashed the Info family’s car while escaping from the police

A “professional car thief” crashed into a car with a mother and her young daughters in a stolen vehicle while fleeing from the police, according to a court heard.

When Steven Thomas was searched, the officers found that he had “the tools of his trade” with him, including a lock pick and an electronic car computer reader.

The 28-year-old had only been released from prison a few months at the time, after being jailed in another stolen car for involvement in a 100 mph car chase that resulted in a police vehicle being rammed last year.

A judge sent him back inside and told him that his “immature and selfish” behavior on the night in question could have been disastrous.

Swansea Crown Court heard that around 9:30 p.m. on May 21, police saw a Ford Fiesta with Thomas at the wheel in an unmarked car in the Penlan area of ​​Swansea, which was reported stolen.

District attorney Craig Jones said the officer activated the hidden blue lights on his patrol car and signaled the Fiesta to stop on Penderry Road – but instead sped away.

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He said Thomas drove through Penlan and Llangyfelach Road before turning into the Clase property, where he showed “little respect for road rules” as he drove through residential streets at 60 mph. The defendant lost the prosecuting officer while driving down a sidewalk, but was found minutes later by another police unit on Llangyfelach Road.

When Thomas tried to escape again, he crashed into a Ford Ka with a wife and two young children on board “at some speed”. The defendant was arrested at the scene of the accident and a paramedic was called to examine the mother and children. Mr Jones said it was “lucky” that the teenagers were securely strapped into the back of the car and, despite being bumped and jolted, they did not suffer serious injuries.

When Thomas was searched, it was found that he was in possession of an OBD reader – an electronic device that plugs into a car’s onboard diagnostic system and allows thieves to disable the alarm and encode new keys – as well as the what the prosecutor called “the more traditional tools of the car thief trade” including bolt cutters, lockpicks and adjustable wrenches.

At the time of the chase and crash, Thomas had been released from prison after being sentenced to 10 months in prison in October 2020 for his involvement in another police chase – during which he and three other professional criminals were at speeds of up to 100 miles each Sped an hour through Swansea in a stolen car, and once rammed a police vehicle and injured the policeman in it. The four men fled the stolen Ford EcoSport, but were quickly arrested. As a result, they refused to take responsibility for driving and refused to say which of them had been behind the wheel.

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Steven Carl Thomas – also known as Steven Rice – with no permanent residence, had previously pleaded guilty to serious vehicle hijacking, dangerous driving, driving with disqualification, driving without insurance, and theft when he showed up in the dock with a conviction. He has 20 criminal records for 42 crimes that began in his youth, including serious vehicle hijacking, theft of vehicles, fraud, prohibited driving, dangerous driving, handling of stolen property, violent crime, damage to property, involvement in the manufacture of cannabis and drug possession.

Dan Griffiths, for Thomas, said that given the items found in possession of the defendant, the court could conclude that his client is a “professional car thief.”

He said there had been little alleviation of the case other than confessions of guilt, but said the defendant felt “terrible” that a mother and young children were involved in the collision and that he apologized.

Judge Catherine Richards told Thomas that his “immature and selfish acts” on the night in question could have been disastrous.

In recognition of his admission of guilt, the judge sentenced him to a total of 18 months in prison. Thomas will be in custody halfway through that time before being released with a license to serve the remainder in the ward. He has been banned from driving for three years and his ban has been extended for an additional nine months to take into account the time he will spend behind bars.

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