Night raiders steal 800 litres of fuel from east Hull bus depot
THIEVES have stolen 800 litres of fuel in a midnight raid on a Hull coach firm.
A gang broke into Abbey Travel's depot in Foster Street, east Hull – the third time the site has been targeted this year.
Although the criminals were captured on CCTV, police told owner Gary Pinkney his images were too blurred to use.
Mr Pinkney said: "It's an absolute nightmare.
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"You just wonder if it's worth it? It's damaging for the drivers and everybody else."
The thieves spent three hours in the Abbey Travel yard, siphoning fuel in the dead of night.
Mr Pinkney said: "The police can't be in our yard all night, we appreciate that, but the thieves were in there for three hours without being seen."
Since January, the business has suffered from repeated thefts.
Mr Pinkney said: "There was a theft about ten weeks ago – we had all our gas bottles taken.
"And before that, we had fuel taken in March.
"These past two years, it's just got worse, with the price of fuel going up. It's like gold dust for people."
Detective Constable Justin Marrow, of Hull's serious acquisitive crime unit, investigated the theft – but the case was closed due to a lack of evidence.
He said: "There was insufficient evidence to prosecute anybody.
"Abbey did have images. We sent a team down to retrieve them but, unfortunately, they were of insufficient quality."
He said fuel thefts of this size were rare in Hull.
Mr Marrow said: "It's a sporadic crime across our force area. But we have no experience of that type of volume.
"It's difficult to say if it was a professional job – it was a large amount, so they must have been organised in some respects."
The fuel was stolen from vehicles parked in a secure area.
Mr Marrow said firms should bring in extra security to avoid being targeted, if they could afford to.
He said business owners should control access to their depots and use security patrols if possible.
Inspector Lee Edwards is in charge of riverside neighbourhood policing team, which covers Foster Street.
He said: "Sporadically, we're affected by fuel theft.
"I would say there are crime types that cause us more problems – for instance, metal theft.
"Geographically, you might get a run of similar offences and then we will direct patrols to the area, both to deter offenders and to detect them."
The theft took place between 11.15pm on Saturday, June 16, and 2.20am on Sunday, June 17.