Northumbria Police are appealing for help to trace a car involved in four incidents in three days where people made off with hundreds of pounds worth of diesel from petrol stations without paying.

The first theft was on Sunday, May 12, at the Esso garage at York Avenue in Jarrow, where £71 of diesel was stolen.

The next day £115 of diesel was stolen from the Co-op station at Parson’s Road in Washington, and £75 was stolen from Sainsbury’s at Eleventh Avenue at Team Valley.

The following day £98 worth of diesel was stolen from Nicholson’s garage at Blue House Lane in Washington.

In all four crimes, the same vehicle - a blue Hyundai Trajet, registration NX03 LSF - has been used in the thefts. It’s believed the occupants have been filling up containers and driving off with the fuel.

It’s the believed the vehicle was stolen from a house in Gateshead and police are appealing for information to trace the vehicle.

Washington Neighbourhood Sergeant Ron Hyde said: “We’re carrying out enquiries to trace this stolen vehicle, which is believed has been used in four bilkings over recent days, with the occupants stealing hundreds of pounds worth of fuel.

“I’d urge those who own and work in petrol stations to be vigilant and report any sightings of this vehicle on the forecourt or anything suspicious to police.

“Residents and motorists should also let police know as soon as possible if they see this car parked where they live or on the roads, or if they have information about the people involved.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.