Garda helicopter could not keep up with 15-year-old boy driving stolen car

Car driven from Dublin to Longford in 35 minutes

21/05/18  Garda and Garda helicopter at Pucks Castle Lane  Rathmichael ,Co Dublin todayÉDozens of gardai, members of the Defence Forces, civil defence and sniffer dogs are now undertaking a major operation in a wooded area in the Rathmichael vicinity in south Dublin or missing student Jastine Valdez. Pic Stephen Collins/Collins Photos

A speeding teenage car thief outran a Garda helicopter and covered about 100km from Dublin to Longford in just 35 minutes before crashing, a court has heard.

The 16-year-old boy pleaded guilty on Monday to stealing the car and to dangerous driving on February 24th.

Dublin Children’s Court heard the youth,led officers on a high-speed pursuit, which ended when he lost control after crashing into a roundabout and “spun” off the road.

Judge Brendan Toale adjourned sentencing the boy, who remains on bail.


Garda David Jordan told the court the Volkswagen Golf was reported stolen at 12:05am in Cabra, Dublin.

The owner had been unpacking after returning from a holiday and had left the keys in the car when it was stolen from outside their house.

A patrol car activated its light and sirens and followed, but the stolen car continued to the N4 at speed. The court heard, “the Garda air support unit was not able to keep up due to the speeds involved”.

At one point, the stolen car overtook a lorry on the hard shoulder to evade gardaí, and after 35 minutes, the driver collided with a roundabout and “spun” off the road at Edgeworthstown.

Gardaí caught up, and the boy, then 15, was found sitting in the driver’s seat.

Judge Toale remanded the boy, accompanied to court by a parent, on continuing bail to next month. He asked for an updated pre-sentence probation report on the teen and gardaí to canvas the car owner on whether they wished to make a victim impact statement.