A construction worker who entered Nottingham’s Broad Marsh car park and stole a £39,000 car was caught a few weeks later when officers recognised him from CCTV images.
Police launched an investigation after the BMW 4 series was reported stolen from level three of the multi-storey complex on 24 November 2022.
Following CCTV inquiries, a man with distinctive tattoos became the prime suspect – and a male with the same tattoos was spotted by officers working at an adjacent construction site the following month.
The 28-year-old, Daniel Rowton, was arrested and taken into custody, where he answered “no comment” to questions about the vehicle theft.
However, he was charged after officers carried out a robust investigation that ultimately proved his guilt.
Nottingham Crown Court heard road cameras showed the stolen BMW was driven to an address in the West Midlands – a journey matched by a mobile phone belonging to Rowton at the same time.
Further damning evidence was uncovered when CCTV images showed the thief – who obscured their head and face with a hoodie – was wearing the same jogging bottoms and trainers that Rowton had on in earlier footage.
Rowton was also captured on CCTV paying close attention to the BMW as it had its lights on but was unoccupied.
A short time later, he drove out of the car park in his work van but returned a short time later on foot, having changed out of his high-visibility jacket and put on a hoodie with the hood up in a failed effort to stop officers recognising him as a construction worker.
The court heard he stole the BMW after smashing a window. It was recovered from the West Midlands and returned to its owner – a woman in her 40s – with a significant amount of damage including scraped paintwork and a buckled front wheel.
Faced with overwhelming evidence, Rowton of Beech Street, Highley, Bridgnorth, Shropshire, went on to plead guilty to theft of a motor vehicle.
He was jailed for 10 months, suspended for two years, when he was sentenced at Nottingham Crown Court on Tuesday (12 December). He was also put on a thinking skills programme and ordered to pay the victim £1,200 in compensation.
Following the sentencing, Detective Sergeant Sarah Gregg, of Nottinghamshire Police, said:
“We take motor vehicle crime extremely seriously and treat it as a key priority because we know the high cost and inconvenience involved for individuals and families, as well as businesses.
“I’m pleased that as a result of our inquiries, Rowton has been put before the courts to face the consequences of his actions.
“I hope this sends a clear message that vehicle crime will not be tolerated in Nottinghamshire and we will do everything possible to catch offenders.”