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A young fuel thief has been jailed for 28 months after stealing more than £4,200-worth of fuel.

Jonathon Lawrence, 24, made off without paying from forecourts in Lancashire, Cheshire, West Yorkshire and North Wales. He sometimes used vans which were specially adapted with fuel tanks and containers fitted in the back. He was arrested in Preston in January.

According to the Warrington Guardian, Lawrence twice targeted the same Esso forecourt – on Wilderspool Causeway on August 18 and September 11 – stealing fuel worth a combined £209.28. He also targeted Tesco petrol stations, making off with £157.90-worth of fuel on one occasion and £142.34-worth on another.

Lawrence, from Liverpool, pleaded guilty to making off without payment, driving without a licence and driving without insurance.

Earlier this month, at Preston Crown Court, he 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.”