Drivers are expected to hit the highways in bigger numbers this month, prompting a police warning about petrol stations.

Charters Towers Police Station officer in charge Senior Sergeant Neil King said fuel drive off incidents, where people failed to pay, were among the most common theft offences to occur in the town.

“We’re reminding people to pay for their fuel when they attend the service station,” he said.

“It’s often unintentional, a failure to pay when people go inside and pick up other items, forgetting to pay for their fuel.

“Or confusion thinking someone else you were travelling with had paid.

“When that happens police have to follow up with a possible stealing charge.

“We urge people to save the embarrassment of not paying and having us turn up at their door later.”

Police are reminding drivers to pay for their fuel when they attend a service station.

At one service station alone in Charters Towers there have been more than 23 fuel drive off offences committed since May.

Sen-Sgt King said there were 29 fuel drive offs across the town for the year with a month to go, up from 23 for 2020.

He said in most instances once notified by police people returned to the service station to pay, but the offences still required police intervention.

Driving off without paying for fuel is a criminal offence in Queensland.

The Queensland Police Service advises that failing to pay for fuel and being charged with the crime of stealing, may end up costing a lot more in the long run.

Extracted in full from: Reminder issued to combat fuel drive-offs | Townsville Bulletin