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Teenager drove stolen car around ‘to lose it’
3:12pm Thursday 10th January 2013 in News
A 19-year-old foolishly said yes when asked to drive a stolen BMW car around for a while to “lose it”, Skipton magistrates heard.
Jack Hartley had a fascination with cars and agreed over the phone to take the BMW MF, even though it was obviously stolen, magistrates were told.
On April 5, Hartley was seen by a police officer driving the high-performance car, which had been stolen from Bradley four days earlier, just a few miles away from where he was living at the time in Elmsley Street, Steeton.
Another officer saw him in Mill Lane, Steeton, and as he put his sirens on to follow Hartley onto Skipton Road, the 19-year-old overtook two cars and drove up a dirt track in his efforts to get away, said Caroline Midgley, prosecuting.
The officer discovered the BMW abandoned with its door open and chased after Hartley on foot, said Mrs Midgley. But he lost sight of the teenager and, despite the help of members of the public who pointed the officer to a cul-de-sac, Hartley got away.
Hartley, now of Primrose Street, Keighley, was seen by another officer helping with the search, getting into a Vauxhall Corsa and was arrested.
Mrs Midgley said Hartley told police he had received a phone call from someone asking him to take the car and drive it around for a while in order to “lose it”’. He had later told his sister that he had been very scared of those who had asked him and that he had no option but to agree.
She added that the BMW had been recovered and was now back with its rightful owner.
Hartley, who admitted handling stolen goods, driving otherwise in accordance with a licence and using a vehicle without insurance, had been offered the chance to drive the car and had foolishly taken it, the court heard.
In mitigation, John Kelly said Hartley clearly knew that the car had been stolen, had driven it for a while and when seen by a police officer had abandoned it and had tried to get away.
“Like so many men, he has a fascination with cars. He works in the motor industry as a tyre fitter during the week and at the weekends he sells cars,” said Mr Kelly.
Magistrates adjourned sentencing for reports.