Petrol thieves ran out of fuel
Published 02/06/2011 | 12:23
A pair of petrol thieves handed police a vital clue after their own car ran out of fuel.
The men, suspected of stealing almost £1,000 worth of petrol in a spate of station drive-offs, were caught on CCTV pushing a Volkswagen Golf into a forecourt.
After filling up their tank, the pair once again drove off without paying.
Another image released by the police shows a suspect filling up several petrol containers packed in the boot of a Mazda.
On Friday Greater Manchester Police (GMP) released the images in bid to bring their crime spree to a halt.
Pc Pete Baldwin, of Longsight and Ardwick neighbourhood policing team, said: "This is the kind of thing you see on television and it is ironic that the two men appear to run out of petrol after we believe they have stolen hundreds of pounds worth of fuel.
"The images may be amusing to people but I can assure you the offence is serious and we are determined to catch the offenders. I would urge anyone who saw these men or any of the vehicles to contact us."
As fuel prices soar, petrol thefts are thought to be an increasing headache for police. GMP believes the two men are responsible for up to seven separate petrol station drive-offs from forecourts in West Didsbury, Hulme, Withington, Bolton, Denton and Stockport.
The CCTV image shows a black Volkswagen Golf with stolen registration plates about to drive onto the forecourt of Tesco Express in Ardwick Green just after 7pm on May 5.
The vehicle then appeared to run out of petrol as the driver and passenger got out of the car and pushed it towards the petrol pump. The main offender is described as an Asian man, in his early 20s, of slim build and 5ft 10ins. Anyone with information should contact police on 0161 872 5050 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.