Man steals taxi outside Gatwick Airport after being refused one
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Ever been in a rush to get somewhere, only to find there are no cabs available or, even worse, that one finally becomes free but it denies you the service?
Well, it's clearly happened to at least one person who decided to take it upon himself to sort his own transportation services by stealing a taxi outside Gatwick Airport after being refused one.
A statement released by Sussex Police states: "One taxi had declined to take him, and footage then showed Ahmed approach the driver’s side of another unattended parked taxi.
"The owner had gone inside momentarily to collect a fare, and had left keys in the ignition. Ahmed took the vehicle, and later attended the victim’s address to discard identification documents before driving off at speed."
During the car chase, which took place on 17 September, 2022, Ahmed drove into 'cordoned off' areas with roadworks in order to evade the tailing Sussex police officers.
The 24-year-old even continued to cruise at 'speeds of more than 100mph' after losing a tyre on the Mercedes taxi caused by the police's tyre deflation device.
However, Ahmed was being tracked by an eagle-eye National Police Air Service helicopter who fed information back to officers Thames Valley Police and Warwickshire Police.
The high-speed pursuit finally came to an end when the man drove into a cul-de-sac in Walsall and was subsequently arrested.
According to Sussex Police, Ahmed was charged with 'aggravated vehicle taking and dangerous driving' following an investigation launched by Gatwick CID.
Ahmed appeared before Lewes Crown Court for sentencing last Friday (4 August) and the police stated: "He was disqualified from driving for 18 months, and was ordered to complete 150 hours of unpaid work as part of a 14-month suspended prison sentence.
"The court ordered him to complete 15 Rehabilitation Activity Requirement (RAR) sessions and pay £841.53 in compensation to the taxi driver.
"He must also pay £425 court costs and a victim surcharge of £187."
Speaking after the case Detective Inspector Darren Lillywhite said: "Ahmed had been refused a fare when he decided to take the taxi outside the South Terminal.
"His driving was so reckless that police were not able to continue pursuing him because of the risk it posed to other road users and officers.
"Our colleagues from NPAS tracked him, and fortunately our colleagues from Warwickshire Police RPU were able to catch him and make the arrest."
The inspector concluded: "Ahmed is very lucky not to have caused serious harm to either himself, our officers, or other road users.
"His driving was appalling."