Prolific petrol pincher who stole more than £4.2k of fuel finally runs out of gas

A relentless petrol pincher has been caged after filling his vehicle up with more than £4,200-worth of fuel - and then leaving forecourts without paying.

Jonathon Lawrence even used vans which had been specifically designed for the theft, with fuel tanks and containers fitted in the back. The 24-year-old's crime spree stretched across garages in Lancashire, Cheshire, West Yorkshire, and North Wales.

An investigation was launched by Lancashire Constabulary after Lawrence stole from businesses in Preston, Blackpool and Nelson in October, November, and December last year.


His criminal conspiracy finally ran out of gas in Preston, where he was arrested in January this year.

Lawrence, of Feltwood Walk, Liverpool, pleaded guilty to making off without payment, driving without a licence and driving without insurance. At Preston Crown Court this week (May 21) Lawrence was jailed for 28 months and banned from driving for 36 months.

PC Sasha Smith-Hooke of Preston Police, said: “Lawrence was prolific in making off from forecourts without paying for fuel in a number of locations. These offences involved several thousand pounds of petrol and diesel, with Lawrence deliberately targeting petrol stations and on occasions using specially adapted vehicles.

“I hope that the prison sentence given to Lawrence sends out a message that offences of this nature will not be tolerated.”