MANAGEMENT at a Bunbury service station have become so frustrated with losing hundreds of dollars to fuel drive-offs, they want to create a network of community crime fighters.
The fed-up owners launched a Facebook page called Bunbury Drive-Offs about a week ago and have already racked up more than 500 members.
The page encourages the community to submit CCTV images and information of people who fill up their car at local service stations and drive off without any intention of paying.
The people behind the campaign did not want to be identified at this stage on instruction from their station’s franchise brand, but urged the community to get in contact with them through the social media page.
The station owner told the Bunbury Mail that since the page went live, it had already proven successful.
“We had a person identified through the information on the page and were able to get in contact with his mother, who sent him down to pay for his fuel,” the owner said.
“The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive in a short space of time – we hope that service stations across Greater Bunbury will get involved and together we can bring this escalating problem to a head.”
The response so far has been overwhelmingly positive in a short space of time – we hope that service stations across Greater Bunbury will get involved and together we can bring this escalating problem to a head.
The station’s management reported a significant increase in the amount of fuel theft in recent years, with “many hundreds” of dollars worth being stolen on a weekly basis.
Many of the thieves are driving cars with false numberplates, which makes it difficult to pin the person responsible.
But this station is in the process of developing a facial recognition system which will alert them to individuals who have failed to pay for their fuel in the past.
They have even offered a reward to anyone who provides information which leads to a conviction or payment.
“We want to take the focus off the vehicle and put it on the driver who has chosen to steal from us – we are not willing to sit back and let them get away with it.”
All information and feedback submitted through the Facebook page will remain strictly confidential.