Mansfield petrol thief left garage boss feeling intimidated

A Mansfield petrol thief left a car dealer feeling intimidated after he drilled through car petrol tanks causing more then £2,500 damage in two raids on a forecourt.

By Kevin Rogers
Thursday, 7th August 2014, 12:45 pm

Paul Stuart, 31 appeared at Mansfield Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday where he pleaded guilty to two counts of stealing petrol and criminal damage to a CCTV camera.

The court was told Matthew Harvey, boss of the LMC Autocentre on Chesterfield Road, noticed a CCTV camera had been moved out of position on May 5.

He then discovered 11 vehicles parked on the forecourt had holes drilled in their fuel tanks and the petrol drained away.

On May 26 Mr Harvey found the CCTV camera missing and when he checked the vehicles he found 15 of them had been attacked in the same way.

He estimated it had cost him a total of £2,530 to replace the tanks and the camera which was valued at £150.

Stuart, of Langwith Road was arrested and made a full admission that he had carried out the raids.

He said he stole fuel because he was unemployed and short of money.

The court was told Mr Harvey said the thefts had made him feel vulnerable and intimidated as he felt he was being deliberately targeted.

He had later waited at the site in the early hours of the morning in case it was attacked again.

The incidents had affected his sleep and had caused health issues.

Defending Stuart, Sulma Mansuri said the defendant had become desperate in terms of finances and had not thought through the full effects of his actions.

The case was adjourned on Wednesday for reports.