A 31-year-old man has been jailed for sneaking into a house in Widnes and then stealing a car from the driveway.
Terry Winstanley, of Church Road North, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to burglary, stealing a car and driving it without insurance and was sentenced to 30 months in prison at Liverpool Crown Court on Friday 16 November.
The charges relate to an incident on Blundell Road in Widnes.
At around 9.20pm on Monday 20 August a woman noticed the rear lights on the car parked on her driveway come on.
She went outside and saw Winstanley getting into the car.
The homeowner tried to stop him from driving off but he shut the driver’s side door, hurting her elbow in the process, and sped off the driveway.
Around 20 minutes later police officers spotted the car being driven along Edge Lane in Liverpool.
After turning around to follow the vehicle, they found it abandoned on Insall Road.
A police dog was transported to the area and found Winstanley hiding in an enclosed yard nearby.
Winstanley admitted to officers that he had been in the car and analysis of his mobile phone proved that he had been in the area that it was stolen from when it was taken.
Detective Constable Nicola Dolan said: “I am delighted that Winstanley has been brought to justice for his actions and I hope the custodial sentence that has been handed down by Liverpool Crown Court deters others from committing similar offences.
“He must have sneaked into the house on Blundell Road and stolen the car keys while people were at home.
“A woman inside the house saw him stealing the car and tried to stop him, but she was unable to do so and was left with a minor elbow injury and in shock at what had happened.
“It is particularly upsetting when you are the victim of a crime in the place you should be able to feel most safe – your own home.
“At Cheshire Constabulary we are always determined to catch those who commit such offences and make them face the consequences of their actions.
“I hope the fact that Winstanley is now behind bars brings some closure to the victims in this case.”
As well as being jailed Winstanley was ordered to pay a £170 victim surcharge and given six points on his driving licence.
Cheshire Constabulary offers the following advice to reduce your chances of falling victim to such crimes:
- Make sure all your doors and windows are secure at all times
- Do not leave valuables, including purses, handbags and car keys, on display or near external doors
- Do not leave house keys near the door or in view
- Consider using a timer to set your lights and radio to come on while you are out
- Consider security marking valuable items with your house number and postcode with a UV pen, or mark it using property marking kits which consist of a traceable liquid to forensically mark valuables
- Ask neighbours to keep an eye on your property while you are out, and do the same for them.