High speed getaway burglar jailed.

A prolific burglar who drove a stolen car at 70mph, at times on the wrong side of the road, as he tried to flee from police has been jailed.

Lewis Thomas, 22 (29.03.1999), of Milner Road, Dagenham, pleaded guilty on Monday, 15 March at Snaresbrook Crown Court and was sentenced on Wednesday, 24 March for a string of offences including two residential burglaries in Rainham, dangerous driving and aggravated taking and driving away [TDA]. He was jailed for four years and disqualified from driving for four years.

This comes after he crashed the stolen Audi he was driving into a tree, left the car and ran into a ravine in an attempt to hide from officers who had pursued him.

He was found hiding under a bridge after the National Police Air Service (NPAS) assisted officers on the ground to find him.

The court heard that on Wednesday, 20 January, PC’s Gee, Lamb and Solanke of the East Roads Policing Team were on patrol when they were alerted to a stolen Audi on the move in the Rainham area of Havering.

The officers made their way to the area and managed to accurately predict where the car would have headed based on the information they had.

When they spotted the vehicle it made off and a pursuit ensued where the vehicle sped up to 70mph, mounting the central reservation and travelling on the wrong side of the carriageway. The car eventually collided with a tree and Thomas made off on foot along a ravine. 

The officers attempted to shadow the suspect and the police helicopter, NPAS, guided the officers on the ground to where the suspect was taking shelter.

PC Gee and PC Solanke found Thomas and arrested him on suspicion of burglary, while PC Lamb secured the stolen car.

Searches by all three officers at two different addresses revealed further items including clothing and the victim’s ID documents stolen during the same burglary and also property from another residential burglary. This provided a conclusive link between the suspect and the two burglaries.

Inspector Taz Ghani, of the Met’s Road Traffic and Policing Command at Chadwell Heath, 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.

“Those officers from the Met’s Road Traffic and Policing Command, and colleagues from NPAS, were determined to track down Thomas that day and bring this prolific offender to justice. Their diligent actions mean that Thomas, who is a prolific burglar, will now be punished for his actions and will hopefully mean fewer victims of burglary.”

+ Thomas’ charges and the subsequent sentences are as follows:

Two counts of residential burglaries in Rainham – four years imprisonment.

Dangerous Driving – 12 months (concurrent to above) and four year driving disqualification.

Aggravated TDA – 12 months (concurrent to above) and four year driving disqualification.

No Insurance – No separate penalty.

Driving without a license – No separate penalty.

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