Third time unlucky as thief hits fuel sites
A PETROL thief is on the run after using a stolen ute in a bold bid to swipe fuel from a Mackay work site.
Dash-cam footage released by Mackay police yesterday shows a man jumping over a high mesh fence, apparently after being startled by an employee of the Racecourse business.
The man leapt into a grey Nissan Navara, accelerating towards the employee and ramming his car.
The footage revealed a second person in the Nissan.
A Queensland Police spokesman said it didn't appear any fuel had been stolen, but the person had been in the process of taking it before being interrupted.
Detective Senior Sergeant David Tucker said the Nissan Navara, had been reported stolen from Hay Point on December 27. It had been fitted with altered number plates - the same plates used on a different vehicle in drive-off petrol thefts from two service stations in Mackay on July 18 and 27 this year.
In those instances, the thief had been driving a Holden Commodore Sedan, Det Snr Sgt Tucker said.
Based on CCTV footage from two targeted stores, Caltex Nebo Rd and Shell Mt Pleasant, and the latest dash-cam vision, police believe the same man is behind the three incidents.
A Shell Mt Pleasant employee said fuel drive-offs had become an increasing problem in the past couple of years.
One occurred every week, sometimes more, the employee said. This week alone, there had been two drive-off's leaving the store $180 out of pocket.
Each time a theft occurred, the business could lose anywhere from $20-$120, the employee said. "There's nothing you can do about it. They (the thieves) just hop in and drive away.
"They don't even enter the store 90 per cent of the time. We just cover ourselves by having regos (written down) and if it turns out to be a stolen car you never get it (the money) back; if it doesn't, the police usually track them down."
Police said the man seen driving the stolen Nissan ute, with the registration '250 RDI', on December 27 was reported to have been heading towards Walkerston.
They are appealing to the public for information. If you can help phone Crime Stoppers anonymously on 1800 333 000.