Essex police have released CCTV images of a man they want to speak to in connection with three petrol thefts from BP Express, Cranfield Park Road, Wickford.

In the first incident in July, the suspect filled up his black Vauxhall Vectra with £61-worth of fuel and made off without paying. In the second incident, also in July, the same suspect with the same car filled up with £58-worth of fuel, and made no attempt to pay. Then in August the suspect filled up his car with £64 worth of fuel and didn’t pay.

Investigating officer, PC Sean Judge, said: “In all three incidents, the number plates shown on the car had been stolen so whoever is responsible for these crimes is clearly planning ahead.

"People may think stealing petrol isn’t a big deal, but it costs companies a large amount of money each year, and a lot of police time to investigate it. The victims of the stolen number plates also have the hassle of reporting them stolen and paying out for new ones, which is totally unacceptable.”

The suspect is described as around 30 to 35-years-old and 5ft 11in tall. In one incident he was wearing a dark hat, dark trousers and a high visibility jacket. In another, he was wearing a dark blue tracksuit top with a white band around the bottom, white sleeves, a black beanie hat, blue bottoms with white stripes down and white trainers.

Anyone with any information is being asked to contact Pc Sean Judge at Wickford police station on 0300 333 4444 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.