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Despite all the advances in security technology for cars, car theft is a persistent problem. In 2020, over 800,000 vehicles were stolen in the United States — and millions more around the world. Earlier this year, in England, there was a bizarre auto theft incident. The police arrested a car thief after they found him hiding in a giant teddy bear.

Car thief stole a Mitsubishi ASX — but caught the attention of police after he didn’t pay for gas

Car thief breaking into car and teddy bear, highlighting car thief arrested after hiding in giant teddy bear
Car thief and teddy bear | Bastian Pudill and Nathan Dumlao via Unsplash

On May 21, Joshua Dobson, an 18-year-old man from Rochdale, a town in Greater Manchester, England, did his own version of Grand Theft Auto. He stole a Mitsubishi ASX crossover SUV. However, it wasn’t the car theft that put Dobson on the radar of police

On the same day that he stole the Mitsubishi ASX, Dobson didn’t pay for gas after fueling up the crossover SUV. After being alerted to this, the police searched for Dobson in an attempt to question him about failing to pay for fuel. 

While on the lam from police, Dobson squeezed himself into a giant teddy bear

Giant teddy bear where car thief was hiding, as shown by the Greater Manchester Police
Teddy bear hiding spot for car thief | Greater Manchester Police

As the Greater Manchester Police searched for him, Dobson headed inside an unknown address. Upon seeing a giant teddy bear, he cut open a hole and managed to squeeze himself into the plush doll. 

However, his teddy bear escape didn’t work out as he hoped, as reported by Mirror. While the police searched through the address, they heard the teddy bear “breathing.” After discovering the car thief, they arrested him. 

In a recent Facebook post, the Greater Manchester Police detailed the incident — with a dose of some “teddy bear” humor:

“A wanted car thief who tried using a teddy bear to hide from our neighborhood cops out looking for him last month has been put behind bars for nine months.”

“Joshua Dobson (18), from the Spotland area of the town, was sought by us after stealing a car in May and not paying for fuel that same day.”

“When we went to arrest him, our officers noticed a large bear breathing in the address before finding Dobson hidden inside!”

“He’s now stuffed behind bars after being sentenced last week for theft of a motor vehicle, driving while disqualified, and making off from a petrol station without payment.”

“Hopefully, he has a bearable time inside…”

Teenage car thief has a months-long prison sentence for a series of offenses

The car theft was on May 21, but the sentencing was on August 5. According to court documents, Dobson has a prison sentence of 32 weeks for a series of offenses. This includes the theft of the Mitsubishi ASX, valued at £8,500 (around $10,000). Additional offenses include driving while disqualified, driving without insurance, and leaving a gas station without paying for fuel. 

The court documents also show that the teenager has a prison sentence for the theft of a Vauxhall Astra van on March 3. On the same day, Dobson also stole a toolbox and two tablets. Additionally, he’s banned from driving a vehicle for 27 months. 

So, the end result is the car thief has to do some time in the slammer. Perhaps, to help him cope with the solitude of his prison stay, he can cuddle with a teddy bear. 


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