Car thief jailed after officers followed footprints in snow
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A car thief who was tracked down after officers found his footprints in the snow has been jailed.
Daniel Henderson, of The Glebe, Runcorn appeared at Chester Magistrates' Court on 19 January after being charged with theft of a motor vehicle.
The 21-year-old pleaded guilty to taking a vehicle without consent and was sentenced to two months imprisonment and ordered to pay a £154 surcharge.
He was also recalled to prison for a previous conviction.
The court heard how the owner of a black Ford Fiesta had reported it stolen from her property in Frodsham at around 10.50pm on 17 January.
In the early hours of 18 January, officers on regular patrol spotted the stolen vehicle travelling on Halton Brook Avenue, Runcorn.
Officers followed the car onto West Lane towards Town Park and onto Northway. The occupants of the vehicle exit while the car is still in motion, causing the car to roll into the wall at the entrance of Town Park.
Police chased the occupants into the park but lost sight of them.
Due to a new layer of snow falling, officers observed a distinctive set of footprints on the ground of the vehicle. Police then followed the distinctive footprints to an address nearby.
Officers knocked on the address and was let in by the occupant, Henderson appeared and the soles of the shoes he was wearing matched the footprints officers had been tracking.
Picture taken of Henderson's shoe sole next to the footprint in the snow
Henderson was subsequently arrested on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle and charged.
In court, he pleaded guilty to taking a vehicle without consent.
Detective Sergeant Stu Needham said: “This case shows that, even in this modern age, sometimes all you need is to do is to follow the clues laid out in front of you.
“Henderson had no choice but to plead guilty to the offence put to him and will now have some time behind bars to think about the consequences of his actions on the evening of 17 January.
“We will continue to do all we can to track down those intent on causing harm to our communities and I hope that this is acts as a deterrent to others who think they can get away with committing crime in our area.
“I also welcome the efficiency in dealing with this case which has allowed us to get justice for the victim efficiently.”