"He would chat to the owners and ask to sit in the driver's seat"
Amir Mohammed, aged 24, of Winson Green, Birmingham, was jailed for 14 months after he posed as a potential buyer in order to steal £63,000 worth of cars.
Birmingham Crown Court heard he posed as a potential buyer before driving off in the vehicles.
When one car owner tried to stop Mohammed, he knocked him down.
Mohammed carried out the car thefts between February and March 2019. He mainly targeted sellers based in Warwickshire and Staffordshire.
The prosecutor Suzanne Francis said: “All the complainants advertised their cars for sale online. Mohammed contacted them and attended their addresses to view the cars.
“He would chat to the owners and ask to sit in the driver’s seat and rev the engine.”
On some occasions, Mohammed would take the vehicles for a test drive before eventually closing the doors and driving away.
Miss Francis then explained the incident involving the collision with one victim.
She said: “There was one occasion on February 17 when a 61-year-old man stood in front of the car to prevent it being taken and he was knocked to the ground.
“Fortunately he suffered no injury but was shocked and aching all over.”
She went on to tell the court that only two of the vehicles had been recovered. This included a Mercedes, bearing false plates which had crashed into a wall in the Dudley area.
Mohammed was not there when the police arrived.
Miss Francis revealed that Mohammed had also stolen another car and had previously been jailed for 10 months.
At an earlier hearing, Mohammed pleaded guilty to five charges of theft.
Olivia Whitworth, defending, said: “These were insured items, not of sentimental or personal value.
“He was under pressure from others to pay off a drugs debt.”
She said that her client had made efforts to turn his life around. She said Mohammed had a full-time job at Kwik Fit.
In passing sentence, Judge Heidi Kubic QC said:
“Having gained the owner’s confidence and having persuaded them to allow you to sit in the driver’s seat of the vehicle they were trying to sell you took the opportunity to drive away.”
She said it was an aggravating feature that Mohammed had hit one owner and showed “your determination to take his car from him”.
Birmingham Mail reported that Mohammed was sentenced to 14 months in prison.