A Canberra petrol station owner says he has lost up to $2500 in the last four months as an increasing number of people drive off without paying for their fuel.

Venugopalreddy Togaru, who owns the United Petroleum station in Fyshwick, said 1543 litres of petrol had been stolen from his business since November 2017.

He estimated this had left him between $2000 and $2500 out of pocket, with about $70 or $80 of fuel stolen in an average incident.

Despite making several police reports, Mr Togaru said he had only been reimbursed for one drive-off, by “a genuine man who honestly forgot to pay”.

“These drive-offs are happening about seven or eight times a month,” Mr Togaru says.

“I have to pay for it from my own pocket. We are the cheapest for petrol [in Canberra] after Costco, and still people don’t pay.”

Mr Togaru claimed police weren’t taking his reports seriously.

He understood that petrol thieves often used stolen cars or cars with stolen number plates, making it hard for police to track them down, but he believed many of the cases were clear cut.

Extracted from The Canberra Times