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Police release image of forecourt scam man

02 October, 2009
Page 7 

A conman managed to help himself to 3,000-worth of fuel from a forecourt in an elaborately-planned, six-day

operation. Police have issued the CCTV image (right) of the man they want to talk to after he used a cloned petrol card to rack up the fuel from BP's Supermart Petrol Station, in Bilston, Wolverhampton.

The fraudster triggered his scam by meeting random motorists, on each of six nights, in Birmingham Road, Coventry. He told them he could fill their cars up with discounted, half-price petrol. Interested drivers wooed by the promise would then embark on a military-style, 26-mile, night-time convoy to the filling station, with the conman leading the way.

When the convoy arrived, he told forecourt staff that he owned a car hire firm and was filling up his vehicles for the next day's work. He would then pay the full price for all of the fuel using a petrol card which was licensed for use to a haulage company in Tamworth, Staffordshire.

The fraudster then collected half of the cost of each motorist's fuel from the individual drivers, before they drove off. Police say all the transactions took place between midnight and 3am on each of the five nights.

The scam came to end when the card was eventually blocked.

All the offences took place between the nights of May 14 and May 19, but police have only just decided to release the CCTV image after on-going enquiries failed to trace the man involved.

Police are now appealing for anyone who recognises the man to get in touch. He is described as Asian, aged 35-40, of heavy build, and with black hair receding slightly at the sides. He also has a black goatee beard and always wore a black coat. Anyone with information is asked to call 0845 113 5000.