TWO Polish men who made money from selling the 225 litres of diesel they stole from vehicles at two Ross-shire depots were jailed for six months today (Thursday).
Dingwall Sheriff Court heard that Jakub Truskowski and Robert Sendecki were caught red-handed at a council yard in the town in the dead of night last November after police had set up a sting operation.
Truskowski (26) tried to evade arrest by hiding inside the hopper of a bin lorry, but both men were caught and taken in to custody. A hose pipe and 13 drums were also recovered at the scene.
The offences, which happened at the Highland Council’s yard on Dingwall’s Craig Road and Shanks Waste Oil Solutions in Evanton Industrial Estate, came to light after drivers noticed their fuel gauges had “considerably reduced” overnight.
Sheriff Alasdair MacFadyen told the pair: “I’m afraid I have decided custody is the only disposal because of the gravity of the offence. It was a course of criminal conduct carefully planned and carried out by you over a period of time.”
He said they were caught red-handed and commended the police for detecting them.
Truskowski of Cambrai Court, Dingwall, and Sendecki (33) of Stafford Place, Dingwall, admitted stealing the diesel from the council yard on October 25 or 26 and between October 28 and 31 and from Shanks on November 2 or 3 last year.
The pair also admitted on November 10 last year being in the council yard without authority.
The court heard that in total 225 litres of diesel were stolen.
Depute fiscal Stewart Maciver said employees at the yards had filled their vehicles at the end of the working day and found the fuel gauges considerably reduced when they started their engines in the morning.
The depute fiscal said a surveillance operation was set up and the duo were seen at 12.30am in the council yard on November 10.
Truskowski was found hiding in the hopper of a refuse vehicle and both were taken into custody.
Mr Maciver said they had sold the diesel to friends and they had each made about £400 in cash.
Solicitor Craig Wood said Sendecki was married with a child and had been working part-time as a fork lift driver at a salmon factory. The pair came up with the scheme to make some money.