Petrol thief struck twice in Derbyshire

Court hearing.
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Police tracked down a driver who twice fled from Derbyshire petrol stations without paying for petrol.

Chesterfield magistrates’ court heard how Luther Ali, 35, Errington Road, Arbourthorne, Sheffield, struck twice on the same day and was captured on CCTV footage.

Prosecuting solicitor John Cooper said: “A petrol station contacted police to report that a customer had driven off without paying.

“Officers attended and viewed CCTV and saw a black, Peugeot vehicle with a male occupant wearing a baseball cap filling up with £90.65 of fuel and then he returned to the vehicle and drove off.”

Police established that the vehicle’s number plates had been taken from another vehicle whose owner was shocked to learn they had been stolen.

Ali also struck at a second petrol station where he stole £33 of fuel without paying and CCTV footage showed the same vehicle and stolen plates had been involved.

Mr Cooper added: “This defendant committed these offences deliberately and used number plates to throw the police off.

“His behaviour at the forecourt was aimed at distracting staff and he chose to be in positions where he thought the CCTV camera would not pick him up.”

The defendant pleaded guilty to two counts of making off without paying for petrol in Glossop after the incidents on June 13. He also pleaded guilty to stealing registration number plates.

Defence solicitor Denny Lau requested that Ali be made the subject of a probation report for magistrates to consider.

Magistrates, who described the offences as planned, agreed to adjourn the case until January 16 to consider reports before sentencing. Ali was granted bail with a curfew and electronic tagging.