A ‘Bilker’, stole number plates from a string of cars in Solihull, borough magistrates heard.
Dean Belfield, of Frensham Close, Chelmsley Wood, admitted using the stolen number plates for ‘bilking’ - filling up with fuel and then driving off without paying.
Gez Newsome, prosecuting, said the 28-year-old had taken the first set of plates on May 6 last year, after the owners of a BMW parked it overnight in Marlene Croft, Chelmsley Wood.
The second offence on September 21, 2012, also occurred while a car was parked overnight on the estate. Belfield asked for a further seven similar thefts to be taken into account.
“[The plates] have been used on several vehicles which turn up to a garage and then make off without payment,” Mr Newsome added. Belfield was also charged with driving while disqualified and without insurance, as well as making off without paying £66.13 at BP Whirlwind Service Station, in Coventry Road, Sheldon on November 14.
Heather Hughes, defending, said: “He is a young man with a drug problem. He has spent the majority of his twenties in and out of custody. Now he wants to change.”
Belfield was jailed for 28 weeks, suspended for two years with supervision, and put on a six months drugs rehabilitation course.
He was also ordered to pay £406 in compensation and costs.