Two teenagers who were behind a series of violent car-jackings across Birmingham have been locked up after West Midlands Police officers tracked them down and thwarted further attacks.
One of the pair – who was just 14 at the time was the ringleader of a gang that used stun guns on female drivers; and tried to steal three cars in just five days across Kings Heath and Moseley in February last year.
The now 16-year-old from Sparkhill – who can’t be named for legal reasons – helped orchestrate and commit the attacks which saw the women temporarily shocked and suffered minor burns from the electrical device.
The gang first struck on 6 February 2017, when they stormed the home of a woman in Balaclava Road, Kings Heath, and snatched keys before driving off in her Ford Fiesta.
Three days later a woman was attacked as she stepped out of her car in Colmore Road; she was stunned by the device and threatened for her keys but the thugs ran off when a passing motorist came to her aid.
They failed in another car-jack attempt in Cambridge Road on 10 February but later that day robbed two schoolboys of a mobile phone as they walked in Windermere Road. Detectives recovered the stolen Ford Fiesta from Balaclava Road after a crash in Birmingham city centre a few days after the robbery – and a glove found inside the car returned a DNA hit to the teenager.
Further enquiries revealed videos and images of him driving the car along with text messages on his phone discussing further robberies.
One conversation linked him to the other teenager, now aged 17, and they revealed in chilling detail further violent robberies which were planned.
After arresting the second teenager; officers found car keys from a nasty car-jacking where a man was assaulted in Shire Country Park, Hall Green, in January last year. They also discovered a range of knives, a hammer and mask hidden in a suitcase.
Following enquiries, he was also connected to the robbery of a woman’s car in Highbury Park.
The youngest teenager admitted leading a car-jacking group and accepted involvement in the Balaclava Road and Cambridge Road robberies, and being aware of the other offences, but denied using the stun gun.
He admitted conspiracy to rob and was sentenced to one-year detention in a youth offender’s institute at Birmingham Crown Court on 23 January after having already served 12 months on remand.
The other youth – who was 16 at the time – was sentenced to three years detention after admitting the same offence. He was sentenced last Monday (23 April) at Birmingham Crown Court.
Detective Constable Nigel Box, from West Midlands Police, said: “These were traumatic experiences for the victims some who may never fully get over what happened to them.
“These were very serious crimes and age is no excuse; just because someone is legally classed as a child doesn’t mean we won’t prosecute. Such violent offences are totally unacceptable and won’t be tolerated.”