A MAN whose prolific theft of cars was described by police as ‘a full-time job’ has been jailed.
Between 2020 and 2022, Eddie McDonagh travelled around the West Midlands looking for cars to steal, brazenly towing vehicles from outside owner’s homes before scrapping them for cash.
At Birmingham Crown Court on Tuesday, the 41-year-old pleaded guilty to 64 counts of theft of motor vehicles and fraud and was sentenced to two years and seven months in prison.
“This was a full-time job for McDonagh who made tens of thousands of pounds through what he was doing,” said PC Choudhury from West Midlands Police’s Vehicle Crime Taskforce.
The court heard how McDonagh made thousands of pounds through scrapping the cars he had stolen, sometimes before the owners had even realised they had gone.
He would use the same tow truck, but would often change the VRM plate to evade getting caught.
On a couple of occasions, McDonagh stole two cars on the same day from outside different addresses in Birmingham.
He was also captured on a number of CCTV cameras transporting the vehicles across the city to be scrapped.
McDonagh’s offending began to unravel when he was confronted by the owner of a car he was trying to steal in Harborne, south-west Birmingham.
Undeterred, McDonagh punched the man before leaving with the vehicle.
On January 23, officers executed a warrant at his home in Kingstanding in north Birmingham, where the tow truck and hi-vis jackets he was captured wearing on CCTV were seized.
Leaflets were also found in the tow truck advertising ‘Eddy’s Cars’ and ‘Cash for Cars’.
“McDonagh was brazen in his offending, he really thought he would continue to get away with stealing other people’s cars and profiting from it,” said PC Choudhury.
He added: “We are committed to tackling vehicle crime and would always urge the public to get in touch if they have any information.
“It can really make a difference.”