Jailed: Burglar who drove on wrong side of road trying to flee police
- Credit: MPS
A "prolific" burglar who drove a stolen car at 70mph on the wrong side of the road as he tried to flee police has been jailed for four years.
Lewis Thomas, of Milner Road, Dagenham, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court after previously pleading guilty to a string of offences.
These include two burglaries in Rainham, dangerous driving and aggravated taking and driving away. He has been disqualified from driving for four years.
The court heard how officers from the east roads policing team were on patrol when they were alerted to a stolen Audi in Rainham on January 20.
When they spotted the car, it made off and a chase ensued with the Audi travelling up to 70mph, mounting the central reservation and travelling on the wrong side of the road.
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Thomas was behind the wheel when the car smashed into a tree. The 22-year-old leapt out and ran into a ravine in a bid to hide from the officers chasing him.
He was found hiding under a bridge after a helicopter from the National Police Air Service was scrambled. He was arrested on suspicion of burglary.
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Searches at two different addresses revealed clothing and the stolen ID of a victim as well as property from another burglary. These provided a "conclusive" link between Thomas and the two burglaries, according to police.
Inspector Taz Ghani said: "I and my officers know the horrible impact burglary has on victims.
"It is an awful crime where offenders invade homes, which are meant to be the place where we feel safe. It is no wonder people feel violated and distressed when it happens.
"Officers were determined to track down Thomas that day and bring this prolific offender to justice.
"Their diligent actions mean Thomas, who is a prolific burglar, will now be punished for his actions and will hopefully mean fewer victims of burglary."
On March 24, Thomas received four years in jail for two counts of residential burglaries and was also sentenced to 12 months for dangerous driving and 12 months for aggravated taking and driving away. The sentences will run concurrently.
There were no separate penalties for driving without a licence and not having insurance.