Bungling gang steal electric car but can’t work out how to start it

A carjacking gang failed miserably because they could not work out how to start an electric vehicle.

Owen Morris, Richard Rocheta and Kudzai Magure were masked in balaclavas as they approached a car owner on his driveway. A court heard they’d successfully robbed a Citroen the day before just two miles away.

But the second attempt “didn’t know how the electric car worked” and eventually ran from the scene near Hamstead, Birmingham.

Morris, 21, and Rocheta, 24, were both sentenced to three years, and 23-year-old Magure received a longer term of three years and seven months due to confessing to the charges at a much later stage.

They admitted robbery and attempted robbery, reports Birmingham Live.

Sentencing at Birmingham Crown Court, Judge Heidi Kubik said: “What possessed the three of you to embark on serious crime on the morning of May 18 last year are matters that you yourself know about. You set out in the early hours of that morning to commit serious offences of car-jacking. They were serious offences because you were targeting vehicles, they were planned robberies with weapons, with balaclavas, where you used actual violence.”

Morris pointed a knife at the second victim’s head causing a cut to his eyebrow.

Rocheta, wielding a metal bar, shouted “give me the f***ing keys” before taking the man’s bank card and mobile. He then marched him to the driver’s side saying: “Show me how it f***ing works”.

But Magure, who was an active participant in the first robbery, was supposedly urging his accomplices to leave the second victim alone.

Harinderpal Dhami, prosecuting, said: “The defendants didn’t know how it worked. It was an electric vehicle. It seemed the defendants struggled to work out how to switch it on, get it running and reverse it off the driveway. It was captured on footage and lasted a few minutes. Without waiting the defendants ran off.”

The court heard all three men were caught soon after by police, who found Magure in nothing but his shorts after he had stripped down in a garden to try and evade capture.

They had approached the first victim in Handsworth, Birmingham, shortly before 6am on May 18 last year. Magure raised his hand causing the driver to stop before Rocheta opened his door and struck him to the back and hand with the metal pole.

They stole his Citroen but ditched it shortly after as they targeted the second motorist in Hamstead, which turned out to be their undoing.

Antonie Muller, defending Rocheta, stated his client, from Handsworth, had taken courses whilst in prison on remand and had written a letter which showed “insight” into his actions.

Devon Small, defending Morris, stated his client, from Great Barr, Birmingham, had been drinking and smoking cannabis on the night before which “may have affected his judgement”.

Magure, from Handsworth, was the only one without a weapon and that he had asked Morris and Rocheta to leave the second victim alone, his lawyer Laura Coton said.

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