Suspected fuel thieves close stretch of M6 motorway

The affected part of the motorway is between junction 2, near Coventry, and junction 4, near Coleshill

Suspected fuel thieves closed a 12-mile stretch of one of the country's busiest motorways today after police were called to reports of a "suspicious vehicle".

Warwickshire Police closed a section of the M6 motorway after receiving reports of suspicious activity around a white Ford transit van which had stopped to refuel at Corley service station around 2.30pm.

Members of the public took to social networking sites, speculating that an explosive device had been found.

The M6 was closed in both directions between junction 2 near Coventry and junction 4 near Coleshill while officers and military personnel examined the vehicle and the scene.

Following a thorough investigation, the force confirmed the vehicle was not carrying an explosive device, but that they were treating the incident as a bulk fuel theft.

A man was detained by officers, arrested and taken into custody in Leamington. Another man is still outstanding, Warwickshire Police said.

SuperIntendent Martin Samuel, area commander for north Warwickshire, said: "We take all reports of suspicious activity and vehicles very seriously, and take whatever action is appropriate to protect people.

"On this occasion we were informed of a vehicle which had stopped at the service station to refuel and two men were seen behaving suspiciously around it.

"Following the horrific events in Woolwich on Wednesday everyone is acutely aware of the threats which some individuals pose and the harm which they are intent on causing.

"After a thorough investigation by police officers and military personnel I can confirm that the vehicle was not carrying an explosive device, as reported by some people, and the incident is now being treated as a bulk fuel theft.

"I would like to apologise to anyone who was caught up in traffic as a result of the investigation at the service station, but I am sure you will appreciate that the precaution of closing the motorway was necessary.

"Not only was it rush hour, but the start of the bank holiday weekend. It's hard to think of a more difficult time to close the motorway.

"I would like to thank the member of the public who reported his suspicions, and everyone who has worked on this incident tonight."

A Highways Agency spokesman confirmed the M6 had now reopened in both directions.

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?
Rachael Lander interview: From strung out to playing strings

From strung out to playing strings

Award-winning cellist Rachael Lander’s career was almost destroyed by the alcohol she drank to fight stage fright. Now she’s playing with Elbow and Ellie Goulding
The science of saturated fat: A big fat surprise about nutrition?

A big fat surprise about nutrition?

The science linking saturated fats to heart disease and other health issues has never been sound. Nina Teicholz looks at how governments started advising incorrectly on diets
Emmys 2014 review: Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars

Can they genuinely compete with the Oscars?

The recent Emmy Awards are certainly glamorous, but they can't beat their movie cousins
On the road to nowhere: A Routemaster trip to remember

On the road to nowhere

A Routemaster trip to remember
Hotel India: Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind

Hotel India

Mumbai's Taj Mahal Palace leaves its darker days behind
10 best pencil cases

Back to school: 10 best pencil cases

Whether it’s their first day at school, uni or a new project, treat the student in your life to some smart stationery
Arsenal vs Besiktas Champions League qualifier: Gunners know battle with Turks is a season-defining fixture

Arsenal know battle with Besiktas is a season-defining fixture

Arsene Wenger admits his below-strength side will have to improve on last week’s show to pass tough test
Pete Jenson: Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought

Pete Jenson: A Different League

Athletic Bilbao’s locals-only transfer policy shows success does not need to be bought
This guitar riff has been voted greatest of all time

The Greatest Guitar Riff of all time

Whole Lotta Votes from Radio 2 listeners
Britain’s superstar ballerina

Britain’s superstar ballerina

Alicia Markova danced... every night of the week and twice on Saturdays
Berlin's Furrie invasion

Berlin's Furrie invasion

2000 fans attended Eurofeurence
‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

‘It was a tidal wave of terror’

Driven to the edge by postpartum psychosis