Three men have been jailed for a total of eight years and 11 months after admitting conspiracy to steal tens of thousands of pounds worth of fuel from garage 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 the police and the British Oil Security Syndicate (BOSS).

Rupert Camack, 36, Colin Danby, 31, 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 last month.

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

Detective Sergeant Maria Cook, from West Midlands Police, said: "We often deal with so-called ’bilking’ offences where offenders fill up 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."