7th Dec, 2016

Police officer thrown across petrol station while tackling fuel theft suspect

Solihull Editorial 12th Aug, 2016 Updated: 24th Oct, 2016

A MOTORIST has been arrested after a police officer was knocked over trying to stop a suspected fuel thief.

Officers were called to the BP garage in Stratford Road, Shirley, at around 1am this morning (August 12) after staff reported a driver they believe was trying to fill up his petrol tank for free.

The man jumped behind the wheel and tried speeding away just as one of the officers reached inside the driver’s door in a bid to grab the keys – flinging the officer across the petrol station forecourt.

He later needed hospital treatment for cuts and bruises.

A response officer colleague pursued the driver – believed to be driving with false number plates – along Stratford Road and into Bills Lane where he was arrested following a brief foot chase.

A 44-year-old man from Solihull is currently in police custody where he is being questioned in connection with the incident.

Solihull Police Chief Inspector Jack Hadley, said: “As a force we investigate around 20 fuel thefts each day and work closely with petrol station managers and the British Oil Security Syndicate to tackling the problem.

“People need to be clear that driving off without paying for fuel is theft and the consequences are very serious.

“On this occasion garage staff called us believing this man was a serial fuel thief and that he was trying to make off without paying.

“We had night shift patrol officers there very quickly and were able to intercept the motorist while he was still on the forecourt.

“Thankfully the officer sustained only minor injuries but clearly it could have been much worse.”