A man stole motorbikes and taunted his victims on social media with videos and rap music

Jake Thornley, 22, committed the thefts between April 2022 and October 2023. 

Thornley, of Mill Hill, Little Hulton, stole eight motorbikes and two of the bikes were stolen from the same victim's home, on two separate occasions. 

On July 2, he was sentenced at Bolton Crown Court for the offences. 

After pleading guilty, he was also sentenced for dangerous driving after leading police on a 30-minute chase through Little Hulton, Salford and Bolton, reaching speeds of 100mph and driving on the wrong side of the East Lancashire Road, before being rammed to a stop by police.

There were also offences of driving without due care and attention, driving whilst disqualified and failure to stop. 

Prosecuting, Neil Bisarya said: "The defendant committed multiple offences of theft of motorbikes and burglary from a garage in a residential dwelling."

He told of one theft in Farnworth, saying: "On April 10, 2022, between 5.15am and 5.45am, the victim was preparing to go out on his bike at 5am when he removed it from the garage and took his dog out for a walk. 

"When he returned, it had gone. Following the theft of this bike it was seen on the TikTok account of the defendant in his possession and was also recorded on accounts owned by the co-accused. 

"The victim was later informed by a friend that a male called Jake Thornley was trying to sell a motorcycle which he believed was his.

"After this he was informed that there were videos which had been uploaded from TikTok which showed a male with a face covering on, goading the victim." 

The bike was then found by police officers in Whitefield with Thornley's fingerprints on it. It was returned to the victim, but it had suffered £1,500 in damage. 

The other seven motorcycles which were stolen were not returned to their victims. 

Another of the stolen bikes, a green Kawasaki RKF, was taken from Bolton on June 29 last year. 

The victim's partner found "clips of the stolen bike being ridden around what appeared to be Little Hulton" on TikTok. 

The victim spoke on Facebook to another victim of a further stolen bike, a red and white Yamaha, which had been seen in a video with his Kawasaki. 

Thornley, having seen this, uploaded further TikTok videos of the same bikes together again, with "taunting rap music bragging about their theft". 

For the dangerous driving offence, on November 11 last year, he was driving a Nissan Note along Eastham Way, Little Hulton - it was not his vehicle. 

Mr Bisarya said: "PC Ryan was in his police vehicle when his attention was drawn to the vehicle as it was being driven at speed and erratically. The officer accelerates up to the rear of the vehicle.

ThornleyThornley (Image: GMP)

"Checks reveal it to be an outstanding stolen motor vehicle from Stalybridge." 

The police officer turned on his emergency equipment to request the vehicle to stop, which was ignored by the driver. 

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The driver led the officer on a chase through Little Hulton, driving "well in excess of the speed limit" and through red lights. 

Mr Bisarya added: "He overtook vehicles and forced his way through traffic, causing other vehicles to take evasive action.

"He reached speeds of up to 67mph and travelled on the wrong side of a traffic island." 

Thornley drove through Walkden and onto the East Lancashire Road, where he "drove on the opposing carriageway" towards Manchester, reaching speeds "of up to 100mph, towards oncoming vehicles", again going through a number of red traffic lights. 

He got to the Irlams o' th' Height roundabout before turning back up the dual carriageway.

He then drove around Swinton, then down the A666 back to the same roundabout. 

Mr Bisarya added: "As he approached the roundabout, the pursuing officer PC Ryan saw the defendant move across to the opposing carriageway as if to enter the roundabout the wrong way.

"The officer felt that the offending driver’s intentions were to again, travel contra on the East Lancashire Road." 

He then made "tactical contact with the offending vehicle", which spun on the roundabout and rested against railings. Officers blocked Thornley in and arrested him. 

Prior to this case, he had five convictions for seven offences, including aggravated vehicle taking in 2016, for which he was disqualified until he passed his test, something which he has not done. 

Since his arrest in November, Thornley had been held in prison. 

Defending, Charlotte Rimmer said: "He has had eight months in Forest Bank and has reflected on his behaviour and accept responsibility." 

She said that the period in which this offending took place was a "particularly difficult one", having lost his grandfather, whom he was "close to". 

Ms Rimmer also highlighted that he had mental health issues, although did not specify for the court, as the judge already had knowledge of these issues from a report. 

She added: "He has clear motivation for the future, and aims to become a mechanic, having completed his level two qualification in mechanics." 

Concluding, Judge Timothy Clayson said: "There was planning involved in the thefts, they were committed in the early hours, you used tools to release them from their security devices, often chains and locks." 

He also highlighted the "prolonged" nature of the police chase. 

He sentenced Thornley to two years and 10 months imprisonment altogether, as well as a three-year driving ban, extended by 17 months, and an extended driving test.