TWO TEENAGERS who smashed their way into homes and threatened motorists with weapons across Solihull and Birmingham have been jailed.
Dylan Harrison (18) and a 17-year-old − who cannot be named for legal reasons − were caught on CCTV during their campaign in February with an unidentified third offender attacking a property in Kings Heath as they threatened the homeowner for keys to his VW Golf and BMW X1.
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.
Harrison was jailed for 12 years while the 17-year-old was sent to a young offenders institute for nine years and nine months at Birmingham Crown Court.
The 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 carjacked of his Golf GTi on the driveway of his home in Allesley Road in Olton on February 7 and an Audi SQ5 taken two days later from Avon Road in Shirley.
And they made unsuccessful attempts to steal cars after smashing windows at homes in Arundel Road in Highters Heath and 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.”