Birmingham & Black Country

Wednesbury car thief who posed as buyer jailed

Adam Bodycote Image copyright West Midlands Police
Image caption Adam Bodycote sometimes "used violence" to snatch car keys from owners, police said

A man who posed as a buyer to test drive and steal cars, leaving some owners injured in the road, has been jailed for nine years.

One man was dragged several metres after clinging to his car, police said.

Adam Bodycote, 28, from Wednesbury, West Midlands, admitted seven car thefts and three robberies.

He was caught after he inadvertently linked his WhatsApp account to the phone number he used to communicate with his victims.

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He used different tactics to distract sellers and steal high-end cars, including BMWs, Mercedes and Audis, police said.

During a two-month stealing spree, Bodycote, of Beech Street, stole 12 cars across the Black Country, including in Walsall, Dudley and West Bromwich, mostly contacting his victims through online sales sites.

Det Tom Finney said: "Bodycote used a range tactics to manufacture opportunities to be left alone inside the cars - getting owners to pop the bonnet while he revved the engine or asking them to get documentation from the house − and when the opportunity arose he sped off.

"But on some occasions, when sellers became suspicious, he used violence to snatch the keys."

He also admitted petrol theft and driving while disqualified and was jailed at Wolverhampton Crown Court.

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