1 October 2015

AS FUEL prices remain a source of hip pocket pain, Fraser Coast motorists have been driving away from petrol stations without paying for fuel.

Queensland Police Service statistics show more than 150 drivers on the Fraser Coast drove away from the bowser without paying between September 1 last year and August 30 this year.

United Petroleum Tinana owner Brian Branch said fuel drive-offs were not a constant issue they were faced with.

“It was a problem earlier in the year, but we haven’t had any for over three or four months,” he said.

Mr Branch said those who did commit drive-offs were often just filling up their tank and then failed to pay.

He said they were often able to recover money from those who did not pay at the bowser.

But, Mr Branch said the time spent recovering the payment often outweighs the cost of the fuel taken.

He said every instance of drive-offs were reported to police.

“We have cameras everywhere,” he said.

Another service station, which wished to remain anonymous, said as well as CCTV cameras, well-trained staff also helped reduce the number of people who tried fuel-up without paying.

Maryborough Police Patrol Group Acting Inspector Kevin Thomson said the problem was not isolated to the Fraser Coast region.

“I don’t think we have seen a spike,” he said.

“We have our district crime prevention officers who go out to business to ensure that the CCTV system is apparent and in the right place,” he said.

Insp Thomson said it was not just cameras which were in place.

He said the details of any drive-off was broadcast to all police so they were aware and could be on the look out for any vehicles which may have failed to pay for fuel.

Petrol Drive-offs

Between 1/09/2014 and 30/08/2014

Hervey Bay – 33

Maryborough – 50

Tiaro – 23

Childers – 29

Extracted in full from the Fraser Coast Chronicle.