Serial thief is jailed after taking a police officer’s car in Burwell

Michael King is jailed for stealilng a police officer's car in Burwell

Michael King is jailed for stealilng a police officer's car in Burwell - Credit: Archant

A serial thief who robbed a plain clothes police officer of a car has been jailed for more than three years.

Michael King, 37, approached the officer, who was on duty but not in uniform, as she dropped off a non-police vehicle at the Co-op Jet filling station in Burwell.

He tried to grab the keys to the Vauxhall Astra from her but she held on and a struggle ensued with King trying to get into the driver’s seat and wrench the keys from the detective constable’s hand.

Eventually, the key ring snapped, allowing King to start the car and drive off but with the officer half in the vehicle, with the door open and still trying to stop him.

DC Mark Beaven, who investigated, 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.”

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The incident happened at just after 4pm on January 2 .

A short while later, in Ness Road, with King now aware she was a police officer, she was let out of the car and he made off while she called for support. The officer suffered minor injuries in the struggle but was not seriously hurt.

CCTV inquiries led to King, whose own car had been seized by police in relation to others matters and had been wanted for several months, and he was arrested the following day.

The car was eventually found on false plates in Bedfordshire.

He initially denied robbery and taking a vehicle without consent, aggravated by dangerous driving, but changed his plea to guilty at the last minute at Peterborough Crown Court.

On Monday (February 26) he was sentenced to three years and eight months for the former and 12 months, to run concurrent, for the latter and also disqualified from driving for two years.

Just after being arrested for the robbery, King, of Orton Drive, Witchford, Ely, had also admitted 22 theft offences, mostly shopliftings in Cambridgeshire, that were taken into consideration, and was sentenced to 28 weeks in prison.