Thefts hit busi­nesses

PETROL DRIVE-OFFS IM­PACT ON SER­VICE STA­TION OP­ER­A­TORS

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - NEWS - Ali­son Bald­ing

AT LEAST one per­son a day is driv­ing away from bowsers in St Marys and Mt Druitt with­out pay­ing for petrol, ac­cord­ing to the latest fig­ures from the NSW Bureau of Crime Sta­tis­tics.

In Jan­uary there were 28 re­ported petrol thefts in Mt Druitt, up from 21 at the same time last year.

In St Marys, 30 bowser thefts were re­ported in Jan­uary, slightly higher than 12 months prior (29).

By June, both com­mands re­ceived 39 re­ports of petrol theft for the month.

How­ever, Su­man Gandla, who took own­er­ship of the United Petroleum ser­vice sta­tion at Leth­bridge Park two weeks ago, said the num­ber of daily petrol thefts was much higher for him.

In the time he has had the busi­ness, Mr Gandla said he has been left out of pocket more than $300.

In some cases, he has been left driver’s li­cences as sure- ty from peo­ple who just never come back.

“There is def­i­nitely more than one drive-off a day,” Mr Gandla said.

“Ev­ery day I see peo­ple put petrol in, look around to see no one is watch­ing and then drive off.

“Oth­ers come in and pre- tend to try and pay, and leave their li­cence say­ing they’ll be back with money – I have so many li­cences here.”

He said he fol­lowed his gut be­fore un­lock­ing pumps.

“The petrol we sell, we have to pay for from United, it comes from our pocket,” Mr Gandla said. “If I think some­one looks sus­pi­cious I don’t give au­tho­ri­sa­tion, they can leave or pre-pay.”

Mt Druitt po­lice crime man­ager De­tec­tive In­spec­tor David God­dard said po­lice work closely with ser­vice sta­tion op­er­a­tors to catch of­fend­ers. “Re­gard­less of the rea­son, of­fend­ers will be charged with steal­ing of­fences,” he said.

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