A BURGLAR who stole high-value cars from homes across the Midlands tried driving a Mini stolen from Solihull through queuing traffic in a desperate bid to shrug off pursuing police.
But Martin Tolan’s botched getaway was foiled as West Midlands Police swarmed around the convertible − and he’s now been jailed for almost ten years for a series of ‘car-key’ burglaries.
CCTV shows vehicles backed up at Bristol Road lights on April 12 before Tolan careers into them behind the wheel of the Mini that had been taken from a driveway in Binley Close, Solihull, on April 1.
The 28-year-old, from Central Avenue in Northfield, shunts several waiting cars in an attempt to force his way through the queue.
But officers quickly surrounded him and use batons to shatter its windows before pulling him from the vehicle.
Enquiries suggested unemployed Tolan was linked to burglaries in Marlbrook, Bromsgrove in addition to the Solihull break-in.
He was released on bail to give police more time to seize evidence and receive DNA results but was arrested again after three more burglaries in which door locks had been snapped off − a tactic employed by Tolan.
Detectives recovered high-definition security camera footage from the home of a CCTV engineer in Northfield, showing Tolan breaking in at 2.30am just 30 minutes after stealing a Nissan Qashqai from outside a home in Bartley Crescent.
And he was also among a group who struck at an address in Cofton Park Drive, Rednal and made off in a Mercedes C-Class and an Audi A5.
Tolan was arrested later that day by which time forensic analysis of a wrench left on a sofa at the Marlbrook, Bromsgrove, burglary returned a DNA match to Tolan.
He admitted multiple burglaries, dangerous driving, handling stolen goods and theft − and at Birmingham Crown Court was jailed for a total of nine years and 11 months.
Det Sgt Toni Holl, said: “Residents can sleep more soundly knowing Tolan is behind bars: we have proved he was responsible for at least five burglaries but it’s suspected he was linked to more.
“Several of his victims were woken to find him intruding in their homes while others only found their cars gone in the morning.
“No-one was injured but I’m glad the court has recognised the prolific nature of Tolan’s offending, plus the psychological impact burglary can have on victims, and jailed him for a long time.”