West Midlands Police have released CCTV footage of the moment a Northfield car thief smashed through traffic in the city centre in a stolen car, in an attempt to evade arrest – as the offender is sentenced to almost 10 years in jail.
On 12th April, Martin Tolan, 28, of Central Avenue, ploughed into stationary vehicles at traffic lights on Bristol Road in the city in an attempt to push through and get away from pursuing officers.
The car he was driving – a convertible Mini – had been stolen 11 days earlier in the early hours of April 1st from a driveway in Solihull.
As Tolan tried to force the Mini through traffic, police officers managed to surround the Mini, using batons to smash the windows, before pulling him from the car.
Following his arrest, Tolan was bailed while police awaited DNA results and gathererd more evidence on the Solihull burglary in which the Mini was stolen and another break-in in Marlbrook.
However, following three further burglaries – in Nuthurst Road in Longbridge, Bartley Crescent in the Ley Hill area of Northfield and Cofton Park Drive in Rednal – where locks were snapped, Tolan was again arrested on 23rd May.
High definition CCTV evidence showed Tolan breaking into the Nuthurst Road home just half an hour after taking a Nissan Qashqai in Bartley Crescent on May 18th.
He was also among a group who struck at an address in Cofton Park Drive, Rednal, in the early hours of May 23 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.
At Birmingham Crown Court on Thursday 27th July, Tolan pleased guilty to multiple burglaries, dangerous driving, handling stolen goods and theft. He was sentenced to nine years and 11 months in prison.
West Midlands Police Detective Sergeant 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.”