Man jailed after probe into car thefts across Chelmsford

An investigation into a series of car thefts across Chelmsford has seen a prolific offender sentenced.

Jay Hennessey, 19, of Chelmsford, was jailed on Tuesday after he admitted to his role stealing numerous cars across the area.

Police launched an investigation after a series of vehicle thefts carried out between September 30 and December 31 last year.

These thefts were all keyless and included the targeting of Ford Fiesta and EcoSport models and Range Rovers.

Evidence gathered showed Hennessy responsible for theft of five of these vehicles, and the attempted theft of another.

Officers were on patrol shortly before 12.30pm on Saturday December 30, on the A414 near Radley Green, when a check on a black Ford Fiesta revealed it to be stolen.

The Ford had stopped in a layby, but upon the activation of the police car’s blue lights it was seen to make off and a pursuit followed, with the Ford reaching high speeds in a built-up residential area.

The vehicle eventually collided with a roadside sign and an electricity box, before the driver fled on foot.

Officers gave chase, arresting Hennessey in nearby Havisham Way.

Screenshots found in his phone detailed the offering of multiple Ford Fiestas and Ford EcoSports for sale.

One of the images featured a white Ford Fiesta stolen from a driveway on October 13.

Police were also able to link Hennessey forensically to the theft of a Ford EcoSport on October 19, after finding his fingerprint on a bag left inside the vehicle.

Appearing at Chelmsford Crown Court on Tuesday April 2, Hennessey admitted five counts of theft of a motor vehicle and one count of attempted theft. He further admitted careless driving, driving without insurance and without a valid licence and breaching a suspended sentence order.

At the same court on Tuesday April 30, he was sentenced to 39 months detention in a young offenders’ institution.