HUNDREDS of shoplifting and petrol drive-off offences were reported across the southside over a year, with one Coorparoo servo struck once every three days on average.

The Shell Coles Express Service Station on Old Cleveland Rd, Coorparoo, reported 95 incidents in the year to June 30 2016, according to the Queensland Police Service Crime Map.

The Coles Express on Beaudesert Rd, Sunnybank, was hit 81 times while nearly 70 incidents were reported at the 7 Eleven at Queensport Rd, Murarrie and 48 offences were noted by the BP at Manly Rd, Tingalpa.

Service Station Association general manger Colin Long said drive-offs hurt business owners and honest consumers, costing the industry $55 million in 2015.

“If someone steals $90 in fuel, that’s virtually their profit for the whole shift. It puts pressure on prices — they’re stealing from family businesses in many instances. It’s an ongoing problem, we work hard at it all the time,” he said.

He said prices were adjusted to help recover losses.

Carina Police Station Acting Senior Sergeant Chris Gordon said while some drive-offs were incident mistakes, criminals had been known to rob bowsers to fill up stolen vehicles.

“(Before) when a stolen car ran out of fuel they were often dumped, now they’re refilled,” he said.

“The upside to it is we get to see the people in the stolen vehicle through the CCTV footage.”

He said mandatory prepayment could reduce this type of crime if introduced in future.
Meanwhile Westfield Garden City was the biggest shoplifting target, with 548 incidents reported in the year to June 30, 2016, according to the Queensland Police Service Crime Map.

A Westfield Garden City spokeswoman said shoplifting occurred “within retail stores themselves”.

“While Westfield Garden City centre management works closely with its retailers and their own security team (where relevant) and police, this kind of activity is not always brought to our attention in the first instance,” she said.

“When it is, Westfield Garden City will work with these groups to try to best manage situations as required.”

More than 290 offences were reported at Carindale Westfield and 170 incidents were noted at the Cannon Hill Kmart Plaza last financial year.

Australian Retailers Association Executive Director Russell Zimmerman said razor blades, cosmetics and baby food were among the top pilfered items from convenience stores and supermarkets.

“The reason they take them is because they are small but relatively expensive,” he said.

“When things get tougher, theft tends to rise. I think it’s fair to say things are still pretty tough and theft is probably on the higher side at the present moment.”

Extracted from Courier Mail.