WINSLOW police are launching a joint operation to clamp down on fuel thefts from the town’s Harvest petrol station.
PC Martin Siderman said: “Nationally, drive-offs at petrol stations are on the increase, in the main due to the huge increase in fuel prices in the past year.”
He said the Harvest petrol station in particular has had quite a large number of drive-off thefts in recent months.
And he added: “Now we’re going to work with staff here to discourage and hopefully catch people in the act.”
Police will be running a joint action with petrol station manager Chris Kirby and his staff.
PC Siderman said: “As a neighbourhood team, the police are going to pay a lot of attention to this garage in the next months and the staff are going to take action too.”
PC Siderman said petrol thefts, also known as ‘bilking’ are linked to the theft of number plates, with stolen plates being used to cover up the real number plates on vehicles involved in the crime.
He added: “There have been a number of occasions where we know stolen number plates have been used to disguise vehicles, and one person is in the process of being prosecuted.
“That’s another reason we’re pushing our tamper-proof number plate screw events.”
Police will be conducting a joint campaign over the coming months with petrol station staff. Among other things, they will be checking that the registration on a vehicle’s tax disc matches that on the vehicle.
“We will be visiting this garage at every opportunity,” said PC Siderman.
“Police will be more visible in this area and the staff here will be doing forecourt controls.
“Between us, I’m hoping we can put paid to this problem.”
PCSO Wendy Taylor said a recent event in Whitchurch to fit tamper-proof screws to people’s car number plates was very well attended and she thanked Scott from Simmonds Garage in Whitchurch for his help.
“Between the pair of us, we got 53 vehicles done,” said PCSO Taylor.
The policing team are planning a further tamper-proof screw event in April.