Logan is a hot spot for fuel drive-offs according to figures recently released by Queensland Police.
During 2015, the Logan Policing District recorded 1973 drive-offs and this year the district has already recorded 1491 incidents in the eight month period from January to August.
Throughout Queensland in 2016 there have been about 11,000 recorded, showing the rate of offences is on track to surpass last year’s total of 14,601.
RACQ spokesperson Renee Smith said the South Eastern Region, which took in the Gold Coast and Logan districts, was a hotspot for fuel theft, with 3,884 offences recorded.
“The bad news is these statistics, based on 2015 figures, are trending upward,” she said.
Ms Smith said RACQ was calling on police to take a tougher stance on offenders caught stealing petrol.
“The shocking rate of run-offs across Queensland proves this is a serious and all too common crime and it’s clearly not going away,” she said.
“With CCTV footage now available at many service stations, a database of offenders should be developed to help catch them and prevent further theft.
“We want to send a strong message to the community that this type of offence won’t be tolerated, and if people commit these crimes they will get caught and prosecuted.”
Local police agreed there was a problem in the area and have conducted targeted operations in Jimboomba while rolling out the Drop the Hood program in Logan.
The program asks all patrons to remove hoods before pumping fuel or making purchases in service stations or take-away food stores.
Senior Sergeant Peta Jordan said she believed the Drop the Hood program would have a significant impact on the figures in the future.
“Since Drop the Hood, these businesses are becoming more vigilant,” she said.
“They are becoming more proactive and vigilant; identifying plates or suspicious behaviour and not letting petrol flow until they are certain about the person.
“We know these are snowball type offences, often starting from a break and enter, leading to stolen cars and stolen petrol.
“We want to encourage businesses to work with police to show that enough is enough and theft will not be tolerated.”
Park Ridge United Service Station owner Sumanth Seelam said the program has had a positive effect on his business.
“In winter we see drive-offs more frequently as they hide under those hoods,” he said.
“At night we do not release fuel until it is pre-paid and we will stop fuel if something does not add up. We now have more control and my staff are paying attention.”
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