Batley man who stole parcel van caught by officers after police car chase

A man was arrested in the car park of a Leeds store following a police chase in a parcel van he stole from outside a house.

Friday, 12th March 2021, 12:00 pm

Luke Thompson stole a Ford Transit from outside a house on Hillside Avenue in Pudsey as the driver was delivering a parcel on March 1 last year.

The van contained 80 parcels worth at least £500.

Danielle Gilmour, prosecuting, said police officers saw the defendant driving the van on false plates four days later near to Armley gyratory.

Leeds Crown Court

The officers followed the van to Holbeck where Thompson dropped off a passenger. They signalled for Thompson to pull over on Domestic Street but he sped off.

The 32-year-old mounted grass verges as he drove away and headed along Whitehall Road towards Leeds city centre.

Thompson was arrested as he hid behind vehicles in Dunelm car park. He was twice the legal limit for cocaine when he was tested.

Thompson refused to comment in interview.

He pleaded guilty to aggravated vehicle taking and driving while disqualified. He has convictions for 64 previous offences including vehicle theft and driving while disqualified.

A probation officer told the court Thompson was suffering from mental health issues at the time after the death of a member of his family.

Thompson, now of Blakeridge Mill, Batley, was given a seven-month sentence, suspended for two years.

He was ordered to do 100 hours of unpaid work and was banned from driving for 30 months. Judge Simon Phillips QC said: “You had no regard for the safety of other road users.”