A car thief has faced instant justice after he was jailed within 24 hours of being arrested in Maidstone.

Thomas Underdown stole a VW Golf after snatching the vehicle’s keys from a business premises, but was swiftly tracked down by officers and caught after being pursued on foot.

Underdown took the keys and car after entering a hotel in St Michael’s Road on Saturday 26 August 2023.

On the following day, patrols from the Roads Policing Unit soon spotted the 31-year-old behind the wheel in Hermitage Lane.

He was pursued into Tarragon Road, where he abandoned the vehicle and attempted to flee on foot. He was detained shortly after and taken into custody.

Underdown, from Maidstone was charged with burglary, theft and failing to stop for police. He was further charged with two counts of driving whilst disqualified and two counts of driving without insurance.

Prolific criminal

He appeared before Medway Magistrates’ Court on Monday 28 August and after pleading guilty was given an immediate prison sentence of four months.

PC Libby Ley, of the Victim Based Crime Team, said: ‘Underdown is a prolific thief who appears to have little regard for the impact his offending will have on his victims. Despite previous warnings and chances offered by the courts he seems completely unwilling to change his ways.

‘Criminals like him prey upon hard-working and law-abiding residents, with the aim of stealing anything they can get their hands on, but it is reassuring to see that on this occasion justice has been served almost instantly.

‘We remain committed to protecting both residents and businesses from repeat offenders who target their property, and it is also pleasing that in this case we have been able to quickly return the stolen car to its rightful owner.’

By Ed

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