Two men who stole fuel from two lorries in Taunton have been jailed and will be deported after their sentences have been served.
Ilie Dobrescu and Ion Stoian have each been sentenced to a total of 18 months in prison after pleading guilty to committing the crimes at Taunton Dean Services on July 9.
Avon and Somerset Police reported that in the early hours of that morning, two truck drivers parked at Taunton Deane Services awoke to two males siphoning fuel from their lorries.
The truck drivers confronted Dobrescu, 36, and Stoian, 31, who were using pipes connected to their own 44 tonne Romanian HGV before the Romanian pair fled from the scene.
The police Road Policing Unit located the lorry which Dobrescu and Stoian were travelling in at speed and safely stopped the vehicle before arresting both men.
A multi-agency investigation involving Avon and Somerset Police officers, staff and the Driver and Vehicle Standards Agency (DVSA) found the lorry to be carrying thousands of pounds in cash and hundreds of secreted fuel.
Further investigations also uncovered the use of a tachograph electronic data record – a radio-sized device fitted on goods and passenger vehicles which digitally records various types of driver and vehicle data, such as journey distance, speed, driving time and driver’s activity – and a magnet which alters tachograph records.
The lorry was also found to have serious defects and was prohibited from being driven.
Dobrescu and Stoian were both charged with two counts of theft from a motor vehicle; producing a false record with intent to pass it as genuine to an inspector; and possession/control of an article for the use in fraud.
Both men pleaded guilty at Taunton Magistrates’ Court on July 10 and were remanded in custody until they were sentenced at Taunton Crown Court last Friday (August 2).
The pair will be deported upon release and are disqualified from driving for 21 months.