A PROLIFIC thief who targeted insecure cars in the Livesey and Feniscowles area of Blackburn has been jailed for 16 weeks.

John Tofts, of Bolton Road, Blackburn, was sentenced at Hyndburn Magistrates’ Court after admitting breaking into cars in the Livesey and Feniscowles area of Blackburn on July 27.

He was arrested after an investigation by Lancashire Constabulary’s Eastern Division Target Team.

He subsequently pleaded guilty to burglary, two counts of theft from motor vehicles and two counts of vehicle interference on August 13.

He also asked for 14 other offences to be taken into consideration.

After his arrest, the 19-year-old opened up to police to divulge his tactics, such as when choosing which cars to target.

Toft told officers he would deliberately target vehicles which had been left insecure.

Sgt Tim McDermott, from Blackburn’s Target Team, is now urging car owners to secure their vehicles and prevent themselves from becoming victims of crime.

He said “As a result of Tofts’ cooperation, the case was dealt with quickly and firmly allowing us to return much of the stolen property whilst giving closure and reassurance to many victims of car crime. The sentence could have been much harsher had he not admitted to other offences and demonstrated a desire to turn his life around.

“He can now serve his sentence without worrying about being arrested for an old offence further down the line.

“Instead he can focus on addressing his behaviour and we will provide support along with other agencies to help him with that.

“Tofts made it clear that he had targeted cars that were left open.”

He added: “I know that some people, for whatever reason, leave their cars insecure but the reality is that by locking them the majority of thieves will simply move on and look for a different vehicle.”

Anyone with information or concerns about car crime in their area, should call the police on 101.