Three men have been jailed for a total of eight years and eleven months after admitting conspiracy to steal tens of thousands of pounds worth of fuel from petrol forecourts across the Midlands.

The charge related to a number of offences committed between July 2010 and January 2011 and followed a joint investigation by West Midlands Police, Central Motorway Police Group (CMPG), Staffordshire Police, West Mercia Police and the British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS).

Thirty six-year-old Rupert Camack, 31-year-old Colin Danby and 25-year-old Brendan Henry targeted forecourts in Birmingham, Sutton Coldfield, Solihull, Worcester, Staffordshire and Derbyshire. They appeared at Birmingham Crown Court for sentencing on Friday (5 August).

In each incident thousands of litres of fuel were stolen and a significant amount of damage was caused.

Camack, of Clinton Road, Solihull, admitted being involved in 10 offences, stealing 72,298 litres of fuel to a value of £87,816 and causing £10,404 worth of damage. He was sentenced to three years and nine months in prison.

Colin Danby, of Selcombe Way, Kings Norton, admitted being involved in five offences, stealing 20,194 litres of fuel to a value of £24,402 and causing £30 worth of damage. He was sentenced to two years and 10 months in prison.

Brendan Henry, of Greenoak Crescent, Kings Heath, admitted being involved in five offences, stealing 61,363 litres of fuel to a value of £76,477 and causing £10,609 worth of damage. He was sentenced to two years and four months in prison.

Detective Sergeant Maria Cook, from West Midlands Police CID, said: “We often deal with so-called ‘bilking’ offences were offenders fill up their vehicle and drive away without paying – but this was fuel theft on a completely different scale. They were highly organised criminals, using generators to siphon fuel from forecourts.

“Because such large quantities of fuel were being stolen they would use barrels and even fuel tankers to get away with what they had taken. These were serious high-value thefts and I’m pleased with the sentences handed to the offenders.”

The three men were caught on January 25 this year when officers were called to reports of a theft in progress at Acorn Service Station on Clarence Road in Sutton Coldfield. Danby and Henry were arrested on the forecourt while Camack was arrested nearby after trying to get away in a car.

A spokesperson for BOSS said: “We’re pleased to have been involved in the conclusion of this case and to continue our partnership involvement with West Midlands Police. The sentences demonstrate that fuel theft is taken very seriously indeed.

“We are committed to working closely with both the police and fuel retailers to help ensure that those who commit crime on forecourts in the West Midlands and across the UK are brought to justice.”