Detectives investigating a fuel card cloning scam in which £30,000 of petrol and diesel was stolen from forecourts across Birmingham have arrested a man on suspicion of plotting the fraud, and are still seeking a second suspect.
The 38-year-old, from Hodge Hill, presented himself at a police station on April 17 after CCTV footage was released by West Midlands Police of two men caught on camera using duplicate cards.
A total of 46 cards are believed to have been cloned at a Halesowen petrol station by a rogue cashier and passed on to thieves who topped up their tanks at the expense of companies signed up to the Allstar Fuel Card scheme.
The cards were cloned between November 2013 and May 2014 before being used repeatedly at regional garages, primarily in Washwood Heath and Erdington.
The suspect has been bailed untll a date in July when he will return for questioning, while a 26-year-old man from Cradley Heath has been charged with multiple counts of making articles to be used in fraud. He will appear at Birmingham Crown Court on June 25.
Detectives are still appealing for information about a man also suspected of being involved in the con and who was caught on a shop camera offering a cloned card as payment.
DC Launa Rowley from the Economic Crime Unit, said: “The scam was identified after some fuel card customers reported strange transactions on their accounts − but whenever one of the cards became ’hot’ the fraudsters moved onto the next cloned card in order to keep the con going.
“That’s why they were able to rack up such a large quantity of stolen fuel over a period of many months.
“We’ve obtained very clear CCTV images of a man we’d like to speak to about this fraud and I’d urge anyone who believes they recognise him to contact me.”
The man police want to speak to is described as white, aged in his late 20s or early 30s, slim build, with short reddish-brown hair with a side parting. He is often seen wearing a dark blue or grey parka-style coat with a fur hood and toggle fastenings on the front, or a fawn and brown hooded top with shoulder patches.
Anyone who believes they recognise him is asked to call the Economic Crime Unit at West Midlands Police on the 101 number, or they can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.