Greater Manchester Police release 999 call after man steals car with elderly blind woman inside

  • A "terrified" daughter called 999 for help after her elderly blind mother was kidnapped by David Stephenson.

A horrifying 999 call has been released by police after a man stole a car with an elderly blind woman with dementia still inside.

David Stephenson, 51, has been jailed for more than eight years after being found guilty of kidnap, theft of motor vehicle, dangerous driving and driving without a license.

He jumped into a car, which was still running to keep the 89-year-old disabled mother warm while her daughter headed to the shops in Ashton-under-Lyne on 6 January 2024.

After releasing her car was gone, the victim's daughter made a panicked call to 999 for help.

In footage shared by Greater Manchester Police, following Stephenson's sentencing, the woman is heard saying: "I've gone to the shop to pick some slippers up for my mum and I've come back and my car's gone with my mum. My mum's in the car."

The terrified caller goes on to say: "They've took her, they've took my car and my mum. She's disabled and she's blind and she's got dementia.

He led police on a pursuit, clocking speeds of 66mph. Credit: Greater Manchester Police

"My mum's in the car, what will they do with her?! What will they do with her?! What will they do with my mum? Oh my god, what will they do with my mum?"

Unfazed by the fact a vulnerable woman was in the passenger seat, Stephenson led officers on a pursuit across Ashton-under-Lyne, clocking speeds of up to 66mph.

Police were thankfully able to bring the car to a safe stop, detain Stephenson, and reunite the victim with her daughter.

Chief Inspector Matt Jackson from our Specialist Operations said: “This must have been really terrifying for the woman who was in the passenger seat when the car got stolen.

"She is blind and has dementia, she wouldn’t have known what was going on – I can’t even begin to imagine what was going through her mind.

“I am proud of my officers, whose fast thinking and ability to remain calm in any given situation, meant we were able to bring the vehicle to a safe stop, and swiftly arrest Stephenson.

“Their response meant that the woman was safety reunited with her daughter, it could have ended very differently if we didn’t work the way we did to get her back safe.”

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