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A teenager has been jailed after police officers found him hiding from them inside a large cuddly toy.

Joshua Dobson cut open and managed to squeeze himself inside a giant teddy bear as he attempted to evade cops who wanted to speak to him over the theft of a Mitsubishi ASX in May and not paying for petrol on the same day.

His plan was rumbled, though, when Greater Manchester Police (GMP) officers who were searching for him at an address, heard the bear “breathing”.

The 18-year-old from Rochdale was arrested after he was found hiding inside the soft toy and was last week sentenced to nine months behind bars, the Manchester Evening News reported.

The car thief cut the cuddly toy open and crawled inside ( PA)

A post on GMP Rochdale’s Facebook page read: “A wanted car thief who tried using a teddy bear to hide from our neighbourhood cops out looking for him last month has been put behind bars for nine months.

“Joshua Dobson, 18, from the #Spotland area of the town, was sought by us after stealing a car in May and not paying for fuel that same day.

“When we went to arrest him, our officers noticed a large bear breathing in the address before finding Dobson hidden inside!

Joshua Dobson hid from police inside the large teddy bear ( PA)

“He’s now stuffed behind bars after being sentenced last week for theft of a motor vehicle, driving while disqualified, and making off from a petrol station without payment.”

GMP added on Twitter : “Our neighbourhood task force and divisional tasking team in #Rochdale could bearely believe what they stumbled across last month in search for a wanted man… We certainly had a more than bearable time bringing to justice one of the town’s thieves last week!”

Court documents show Dobson, of Rochdale, was sentenced to a total of 32 weeks in prison for a series of offences at Manchester Magistrates’ Court last Friday, August 5.

They included theft of the Mitsubishi, valued at £8,500, and its keys, driving whilst disqualified, driving without insurance and making off from a petrol station without payment, on Saturday, May 21 this year.

According to the documents he was also sentenced for taking a Vauxhall Astra van without consent, driving whilst disqualified, driving without insurance, theft of a toolbox and two tablets and criminal damage, all on March 3 this year and was also banned from driving for 27 months.

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