‘Prolific thief’ jailed for stealing car with officer left hanging out of vehicle
A wanted man who stole a police officer’s car in a “terrifying” ordeal has been sent to prison for more than four years.
Michael King, 37, left the plain clothes detective constable precariously hanging half in and half out of the vehicle as he sped away.
Peterborough Crown Court heard that the drama began on January 2 as the officer was pulling into a petrol station in an unmarked car.
King tried to grab the on-duty officer’s keys from her, but she held on as he attempted to get into the driver’s seat.
The key ring eventually snapped, allowing the defendant to drive off with the door open and the officer hanging out of the vehicle.
After realising that she was a police officer, King let her out and made off while she called for support. The car was eventually found on false plates in Bedfordshire.
The Cambridgeshire Constabulary officer was not seriously hurt in the incident.
CCTV footage revealed King’s identity – whose own car had been seized by Cambridgeshire Constabulary in relation to other offences and was wanted for several months – and he was arrested the next day.
King initially denied robbery and taking a vehicle without consent, aggravated by dangerous driving, but made a last-minute plea change at a hearing in January.
This week King was sentenced to three years and eight months in prison for robbery and a further 12 months, to run concurrently, for the latter offence. He was also disqualified from driving for two years.
However, just after his arrest on January 3, he also admitted 22 theft offences – mainly for shoplifting – and was sentenced to 28 weeks in prison.
Consequently, his sentence for the robbery offence will not begin until April 28.
Detective Constable Mark Beaven said: “King is a serial offender who has been a prolific thief in East Cambridgeshire and more recently Cambridge for years.
“The robbery incident was terrifying for the officer involved, who bravely attempted to prevent the car being stolen but had to get out due to serious concerns for her safety.
“Luckily, she only received minor injuries but it could have been a lot worse.”