‘Hapless’ car thief thwarted by a bollard is jailed after leaving string of evidence at dealerships

  • Careless car thief jailed for 12 months after leaving piles of evidence at two used car dealerships
  • Andrew Holland took cash from a safe at Holdcroft Mazda in Stoke-on-Trent
  • He also failed to steal a Toyota Yaris when he ploughed it into a bollard

Time 8:30 am, October 4, 2023

A dim-witted car thief who targeted two dealerships during a spate of botched burglaries has been jailed for 12 months.

When Andrew Holland, 39, successfully smashed his way into Holdcroft Mazda in Stoke-on-Trent he thought he would never be caught.

However, the hapless robber made a series of basic errors which would ultimately lead to his capture and imprisonment.

After using a crowbar and smashing a window to force his way into the showroom, Holland stole £50 from an unlocked safe before fleeing.

The only issue? The careless thief dropped some of the cash on the floor during his escape and forgot to take his crowbar with him from the scene.

He also left his blood dotted around the dealership after suffering an injury while smashing his way through a glass panel.

On another occasion, Holland broke into a nearby used Renault showroom, where he was able to swipe the keys to a Toyota Yaris which was parked on the forecourt.

However, the defendant’s attempts to make off with the car were thwarted when he rammed it straight into a bollard and he was forced to flee on foot.

Damage at the dealership was later valued at around £2,500 with police easily able to link the crime to Holland, as he once again dropped his blood at the scene.

He has now appeared at Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court, where he admitted to the burglaries, as well as another at local electronics shop, Comfy House.

The court heard from prosecutor Richard McConaghy, who said that Holland had been trying to steal the car in order to drive home to Newcastle.

StokeOnTrentLive reports that the defendant had 27 previous convictions for 69 offences and was recalled to prison for another offence following the burglaries.

Rashad Mohammed, mitigating, said his client had left a trail of evidence at the scenes and labelled him a ‘hapless burglar’.

He said: ‘His attempts ended very, very quickly. He is a hapless burglar. He left behind a trail of blood and footprints. It was very easy for the police to catch up with him.

‘He offers his regret and remorse for his offending.’

After hearing all the evidence, Recorder Anthony Warner sentenced Holland to 12 months behind bars. He will serve half the sentence in prison with the rest on licence.

Pictured: Stoke-on-Trent Crown Court (PA Images)

Jack Williams's avatar

Jack joined the Car Dealer team in 2021 as a staff writer. He previously worked as a national newspaper journalist for BNPS Press Agency. He has provided news and motoring stories for a number of national publications including The Sun, The Times and The Daily Mirror.

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