Drink-driver steals and writes-off car from Southampton car garage

A drink-driver in Southampton has caused thousands of pounds of damage after stealing a car from a garage forecourt and crashing it into a listed property.

Kevin Canney had been cycling past the Europa Garage in Lowford when he saw a Land Rover unattended with the key in the ignition, the Southern Daily Echo reported. While under the influence Mr Canney jumped inside the vehicle and drove off, with staff giving pursuit until, not far down the road, he failed to negotiate a T-junction and crashed into the Country Life house.

Opportunistic thieves will always look for vehicles that are easy to steal, that is why it is imperative that a car garage or dealership has a good combined motor trade insurance policy so all their cars and valuables are protected. However, it is also very important that companies implement diligent security measures to ensure they are not an easy target; leaving keys inside an unattended vehicle is not only asking for trouble but it could also invalidate an insurance claim, as it could on a personal claims policy.

Mr Canney’s case was taken to Southampton Crown Court where it was heard that the Land Rover Discovery was written off as a result of the incident. A further £8,000 of damage was caused to the house he crashed into.

Mr Canney, 35, who was on bail for shoplifting at the time and has no settled address, admitted to four counts of theft and one each of aggravated taking and driving away without consent, failing to provide a specimen for analysis and having no insurance and a driving licence. He was jailed for 20 months and banned from driving for five years.