The 49-year-old, from Lea, was arrested today (Thursday, June 23) on suspicion of making off without payment and is currently in custody.
Officers had been investigating a number of fuel thefts reported at petrol garages in Preston and neighbouring towns this month.
At around 10.05am today, patrols became aware of a grey Range Rover, believed to be linked to the offences, close to the BP Garage at the Tickled Trout services in Brockholes, off Preston New Road.
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With the North West Motorway Police HQ just around the corner, back-up was swiftly called to the scene and officers were able to box the vehicle in to prevent the driver getting away.
A search uncovered a number of licence plates stashed inside the car and the driver was arrested and taken into custody.
In the North West, the average price of petrol is 186.62p per litre and diesel costs 192.76p per litre. The cost of filling an average 55-litre unleaded petrol car is a staggering £102.64.
One year ago it was 129.60p for petrol and 132.11p for diesel. The cost of filling an average car then was £71.28.
Five years ago the cost was 116.66p for petrol and 117.25p for diesel. The cost of filling an average car then was £64.16.