Rise in thefts from petrol station storage tanks

Photo: File image
Photo: File image
Thieves have been accessing storage tanks at service stations in Canterbury to steal petrol.

Police have apprehended one suspect, 52-year-old Stephen James Reid, of Christchurch, who was remanded on bail when he appeared in Christchurch District Court on a charge of theft of $4386.25 fuel from Mobil in Rolleston.

Senior Sergeant Anna Lloyd said there had been a number of such thefts reported, most occurring overnight at unstaffed stations such as NPD and Allied.

The arrest had been made possible by CCTV providing real-time footage to the business owner.

"We had anticipated that this may occur with the rise in fuel prices, and we strongly encourage anyone who sees any suspicious activity around these fuel stations, particularly vehicles towing high-sided trailers, to call 111,” Lloyd said.

The site owner did not want to be named but said there had been two incidents of the alleged offender stealing petrol from an above-ground tank in the past week. It was the first time such thefts had ever occurred there.

"There are extra measures in place now to stop it happening," he said.

Allied Prebbleton’s manager said a thief with an electric pump had accessed the underground tank late last year.

The manager had watched the CCTV footage of the theft after noticing the plate covering the hole, where staff accessed the tanks with a dipstick to measure fuel quantity, was missing.

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