Dramatic video shows driver leading police on high speed chase - in a Fiat 500
Thomas Cahill, 42, can be seen driving the wrong way up residential streets and even along footpaths as he tried to evade officers on August 22 last year.
Shocking video shows him dangerously weaving in and out of traffic and across grass verges during the terrifying pursuit in Quinton, Birmingham.
A court heard roofer Cahill was wanted for a string of violent offences at the time - including burglary, robbery and aggravated vehicle taking.
During his spree, a 78-year-old woman suffered a broken hip after being dragged to the ground as he snatched her bag in the street.
He also broke into the home of another 78-year-old woman, cutting her phone line so she couldn’t call for help, where he stole bank cards and cash.
One female victim was stabbed multiple times to her hand as he tried to cut the strap of her handbag as she was walking down the street.
Cahill also tricked his way into the house of a vulnerable man who had previously suffered stroke by asking for a glass of water before stealing his bank cards.
But the homeowner's son spotted Cahill leaving the house, recognised him as having previously done roofing work at the property and was later able to identify him.
A day later he stole a Fiat 500 from a property in Wolverhampton and officers were able to trace the car due to the in-car tracker.
The stolen vehicle was driven dangerously, speeding through residential areas and at times on the wrong side of dual carriageways, before its tyres were stung.
It eventually ground to a halt having shed a tyre and Cahill was arrested on suspicion of dangerous driving following a brief foot chase.
Cahill, of no fixed address, pleaded guilty to five burglaries, three robberies an attempted robbery and aggravated vehicle taking.
He was sentenced to 12 years in prison at Birmingham Crown Court last Tuesday (28/9).
Detective Mark Timmins, of West Midlands Police, said: “Thomas Cahill is a really violent offender and we are so pleased to see him behind bars for this time.
“He preyed on the vulnerable and took advantage of them.
“Cahill drove a battered Ford Focus to commit most of these offences, so we were quickly able to identify him as being involved in these malicious crimes.
“Being of a victim of burglary and robbery can be really difficult and the thought of someone being in your home can take a long time to recover from, so I hope this sentence will also provide comfort to Cahill’s victims.”