A driver who took petrol for himself and a friend failed to pay both times.
Adam Robinson was caught on CCTV filling his car at the Shell station in Easington Road, Hartlepool, before driving away.
The 22-year-old did the same thing at a Jet station in Billingham when he was the passenger in another car, Teesside Magistrates’ Court heard.
“The first offence was straightforward,” said John Garside, prosecuting. “Police were alerted, and they found the car a short distance away with Robinson nearby.
“They suspected he may have taken drink or drugs, but he refused to provide a sample for analysis.
“In the other offence, Robinson was seen to take the fuel then get into the rear seat of the car.
“The car was driven off by someone else.”
Robinson, 22, of York Road, Hartlepool, denied theft on January 1. He was convicted after a trial.
Robinson admitted making off without payment, and failing to provide a specimen for analysis, both on April 4.
The court’s liaison probation officer said: “In the offence for which Mr Robinson was a passenger, he says he thought his friend was going to pay for the petrol. Mr Robinson concedes he had no intention to pay for the fuel on the other occasion.
“He has previous convictions dating back to when he was a youth, mostly for acquisitive crime. But there have been gaps in his offending as well.
“It seems he succumbs easily to peer pressure.”
Stuart Haywood, defending, said: “We have heard Mr Robinson is easily led,” added Mr Haywood. “Doing unpaid work would inevitably expose him to more sophisticated criminals, which in turn could lead him into further offending.
“At this stage of his life, it would be more beneficial for him to work on rehabilitation with the help of the probation service.”
Robinson was given a community order of 12 months, including 40 hours of unpaid work, and 15 rehabilitation activity days. He was disqualified from driving for 12 months, with £400 in costs and compensation.