Brazen burglar who stole £240,000 worth of goods in summer crime spree is jailed for 12 years

Brazen burglar who stole £240,000 worth of goods in summer crime spree is jailed for 12 years

A BURGLAR who went on a £240,000 crime spree last summer, during which he stole items ranging from cars to a child's bike, has been jailed for more than 12 years.

Thomas McDonagh, 44, also caused £50,000 worth of damage as he carried out his crimes across Coventry between May and August 2023.

His offending was brought to a halt when police found him hiding under a bed, after which he was charged with 49 offences in two separate indictments.

At Warwick Crown Court last week, he was sentenced to 12 years and three months for 28 of the offences, which included theft, burglary and handling stolen goods.


During his crime spree, McDonagh stole dozens of cars and number plates and broke in to businesses across Coventry.

His crimes all followed a similar pattern, with McDonagh stealing the cars or their number plates, before using them to ram the shutters of industrial units in the city.

Primarily working alone, he was captured on CCTV in a number of places stealing cars and motorbikes, tools and other items.

The crimes were brazenly carried out, with McDonagh clearly identifiable in CCTV.

On one occasion, he even stole a bike from a 12-year-old boy, pushing him off and riding away on it.

Fortunately, the bike was found and returned to the boy a short time later.


Despite his efforts to evade capture, McDonagh was tracked down and arrested at an address in the city at the end of August 2023.

McDonagh, who was found by officers hiding under a bed, was subsequently charged with 49 offences.

The value of stolen goods taken by McDonagh is believed to be nearly £240,000, with his criminal damage estimated at nearly £50,000.

Following work by officers from Coventry's CID team, West Midlands Police secured charges against McDonagh for 28 of the 49 offences — 15 on the first indictment and 13 on the second.