‘They’ve took my car and my mum’: Man jailed after stealing vehicle with blind 89-year-old in passenger seat

A man who stole a car with the owner’s blind, dementia-sufferer mother still inside has been jailed for more than eight years.

David Stephenson snatched the vehicle with the 89-year-old in the passenger seat as her daughter went to get shopping in early January.

She had left the engine running so the heater would keep her elderly mum warm.

David Stephenson. Pic: GMP
Stephenson. Pic: GMP

Greater Manchester Police have released a recording of the distressing 999 call made by the tearful woman on finding her vehicle had been taken along with her mother.

She is heard to say: “My car has gone with my mum, my mum’s in the car… they’ve took my car and my mum.

“She’s disabled and she’s blind and she’s got dementia.

“What will they do with her, what will they do with my mum?”

The force also provided footage of the police pursuit as Stephenson speeded through the busy streets of Ashton-under-Lyne in Tameside, overtaking traffic and driving on the wrong side of the road as he tried to escape the law.

He eventually gave up the chase, holding his hand out of the window to signal his surrender to officers.

Stephenson was detained and the elderly kidnap victim safely reunited with her daughter.

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Chief Inspector Matt Jackson said: “This must have been really terrifying for the woman who was in the passenger seat when the car got stolen.

“She is blind and has dementia, she wouldn’t have known what was going on – I can’t even begin to imagine what was going through her mind.”

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He added: “I am proud of my officers, whose fast thinking and ability to remain calm in any given situation, meant we were able to bring the vehicle to a safe stop, and swiftly arrest Stephenson.

“Their response meant that the woman was safety reunited with her daughter, it could have ended very differently if we didn’t work the way we did to get her back safe.”

Stephenson, 51, of no fixed abode was jailed this week for eight years and six months after being found guilty of kidnap, theft of a motor vehicle, dangerous driving and driving without a licence.

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