Petrol theft costing North Somerset garages thousands

PUBLISHED: 12:30 07 February 2017

Nearly 600 motorists drove away from the pump without paying.

Nearly 600 motorists drove away from the pump without paying.

Archant

Almost 600 people have sped away from petrol stations in North Somerset without paying for their fuel since 2010, a Mercury Freedom of Information request has revealed.

Figures show the crime, which is costing garages thousands of pounds, has become more common in the area in recent years.

Statistics from Avon and Somerset Constabulary reveal 589 incidents of fuel bilking have been recorded in North Somerset since 2010, with motorists leaving pumps without paying, despite the likelihood of being caught red-handed on CCTV cameras.

The figures reveal a sharp 70 per cent increase in fuel thefts in the area in the past three years.

From January 2014 until November last year, 399 incidents of fuel theft were recorded in North Somerset, compared to the three years preceding 2014, where 239 were incidents of fuel theft were reported.

If each theft was valued at £40, North Somerset’s garages have lost out on as much as £23,000 between them in the past seven years.

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