A NORTHFIELD man has been jailed for almost ten years following a string of high-value ‘car-key’ burglaries across the Midlands.
Martin Tolan, of Central Avenue, was sentenced to nine years and 11 months at Birmingham Crown Court on Thursday where he admitted multiple burglaries, dangerous driving, handling stolen goods as well as theft.
The 28-year-old recently tried driving a stolen Mini through queuing traffic in a desperate bid to shrug off pursuing police.
But his botched getaway was foiled as West Midlands Police officers swarmed around the convertible.
CCTV showed vehicles backed up at Bristol Road lights on April 12 before Tolan careered into them behind the wheel of the Mini which had been taken from a driveway in Binley Close, Solihull, on April 1.
Tolan shunted several waiting cars in an attempt to force his way through the queue.
But cops quickly surrounded him and used batons to shatter the Mini’s windows before pulling him from the vehicle.
Enquiries suggested unemployed Tolan was linked to burglaries in Marlbrook, Bromsgrove, on April 9 in addition to the Solihull break-in.
He was released on bail to give police more time to seize evidence and receive DNA results.
However, he was arrested again on May 23 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 Nuthurst Road, Northfield, showing Tolan breaking in at 2.30am on May 18 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, 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.
Det Sgt Toni Holl, of West Midlands Police, 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.”