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The car involved in an alleged petrol drive-off near Oamaru was fitted with stolen number plates, police say.
Police were reviewing CCTV footage after the petrol theft of $50 about 6.20pm yesterday at an Alma service station, a police spokeswoman said.
However, when police contacted the registered owner of the vehicle to which the plates belonged, their vehicle remained parked at Awamoa Park, in Wansbeck St, for sale by the owner. Its number plates had been removed.
For years, people have parked vehicles they wish to sell privately at the end of a sealed driveway by the Awamoa scout group den.
Over that time there have been vehicles tampered with, damaged, having fuel siphoned from them and stolen, prompting warnings against the practice by police.
Inquiries into Tuesday's incident were continuing, the police spokeswoman said.