Petrol drive-off offences have doubled over the past two years according to Queensland Police figures.

Statistics show that there were 22,176 fuel drive-offs in Queensland compared with 14, 632 in 2015.

The Darling Downs region experienced a similar spike in drive-offs, rising from 435 in 2015 to 578 in 2017.

The increase in petrol theft occurs despite a drop in fuel prices over the same period.

Theft offences recorded on the Queensland Police Crime map over the past year show 11 offences in the area of the BP on Albion St and seven offences in area of the BP West Warwick on Wood St.

Colin Long of the Service Station Association told The Courier Mail historical research shows that fuel drive-offs tend to increase when prices are on the rise.

“This is pretty surprising if I’m honest,” he said.

“Fuel drive-offs accounted for $55 million in losses for service stations in Australia last year.”

“The problem doesn’t just lie with cars filling up for $50 or $60, it is prime movers as well,” Mr Long said.

“They will set up a decoy of sorts to distract the attendant – using another driver or another truck – and before you know it they have pinched $1200 worth of fuel.

“It really hurts profit margins, particularly those of independently run service stations, when it is happening more or less every day.”

The number of offences also rose in Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

Extracted from South Burnett Times.