'Grinning' car thief and burglar is jailed - The Rugby Observer

'Grinning' car thief and burglar is jailed

Rugby Editorial 17th Apr, 2024   0

A ‘GRINNING’ thief who stole a car from a used car business in Binley Woods has been jailed.

Martin McDonagh, 46, formerly of Thorney Road in Coventry, was sentenced to one year and nine months in prison after admitting to the theft and an attempted burglary in Nuneaton.

He was given a 12-year sentence in total after also being convicted of a series of burglaries and thefts in the West Midlands.

In July 2022, McDonagh – who also used the name Thomas – went to the used car business in Binley Woods and asked to look at a VW Golf. While sat in the driver’s seat, he asked if he could start the engine, to which the salesman agreed.




After starting the engine, he drove off in the car. The salesman told detectives that McDonagh was grinning at him as he drove away.

Later that day, McDonagh drove the stolen car to a business premises at Attleborough Fields Industrial Estate where a freezer was placed in front of the roller shutter doors. He then reversed the car into the freezer to gain entry to the building.


After a short time, McDonagh and another unknown offender were seen on CCTV leaving the building, with one of them saying ‘nothing there’.

The stolen car was recovered by officers from West Midlands Police the following month after it crashed in Bulls Head Lane, Coventry.

CCTV enquiries identified McDonagh as the suspect and he was interviewed in connection with the incidents.

Det Cons Chris Stowe from Warwickshire Police said: “McDonagh might have been grinning as he drove away, but it was police and his victims who have had the last laugh, seeing him jailed for a very long time.”

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