A drug addict stole fuel to sell to get money for his next fix.
Jonathan Robson, who has 129 previous convictions, went on a shoplifting spree at the same time, stealing meat and other high value items.
Robson was arrested after CCTV footage at the filling stations showed him committing the offences which police described as “blatant”.
Ann Mitchell, prosecuting, told Teesside Magistrates Court: “There is six offences of making off without payment. These were committed at various garages in the Hartlepool area, including stations owned by Asda and Shell.
“Among the shops targeted were branches of B&M, Wilko, Sainsbury’s, and McColl convenience stores.
“One of the cars used to steal fuel was a Nissan Note that had been recently stolen from its owner.”
Robson, 29, of Grange Road, Hartlepool, admitted eight shop thefts, six offences of making off without payment, taking without the owner’s consent, driving while disqualified, and driving without insurance.
All of the offences were committed in April and May.
Neil Taylor, defending, said Robson committed the offences to fund his drug addiction.
He said: “The need for drugs took over his life. All other thoughts and sensible decision making went from his mind.
“He has no money or cars, they were provided by others, and he got whatever he got as payment for taking the fuel.
“Everyone knows the filling stations are well-covered by good quality CCTV.
“Mr Robson was originally charged with stealing the Nissan Note.
“He didn’t do that, but he knew the person who gave it to him to fill with fuel should not have had it, so Mr Robson is guilty of the taking without consent offence.
“The shop thefts were not aggravated in any way, he just walked into them, took the items, and walked out again.”
The court heard Robson has spent seven weeks in prison on remand.
Mr Taylor added: “Mr Robson couldn’t complain if he was given a custodial sentence today, but it’s also an opportunity for him to be given a chance to take advantage of the various help available to him in the community.”
The bench sentenced Robson to a community order of 18 months, a drug treatment programme of 12 months, and 30 days of rehabilitation activity.
Robson was ordered to pay £1,500 compensation to the owner of the Nissan Note after the court heard its owner is having difficulty with an insurance claim.
The compensation amount will be added to Robson’s existing fines account of £3,400 and will be paid via a weekly deduction from benefits.