Foolish teenager drove stolen car before fleeing after police pursuit

First published in Keighley by

A 19-year-old Keighley man foolishly said ‘yes’ when asked to drive a stolen BMW car around for a while to “lose it”, 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, Skipton Court was told.

Hartley was seen on April 5 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. As he put his sirens on to follow Hartley onto Skipton Road, the 19-year-old overtook two other 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 in Keighley, was then recognised by another officer – called in to help with the search – getting into a Vauxhall Corsa and was arrested.

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”.

Mrs Midgley added 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 was told.

In mitigation, John Kelly said: “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.”

Magistrates adjourned sentencing for reports.

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