Fuel theft campaign fires up

By Alesha Capone

A new Crime Stoppers Victoria campaign aimed at petrol thieves will be rolled out at fuel outlets in Wyndham, Geelong and Hume across the next three weeks.

The state government last week announced $95,000 in funding for the We See You Too campaign, which will be installed at petrol stations with a high record of fuel thefts.

Minister for Police Lisa Neville said anti-theft messages would be displayed at bowsers and digital displays, plus online and in the media.

Ms Neville said the campaign was developed in partnership with Victoria Police, petrol station operators and industry associations.

She said it was estimated that fuel theft cost retailers up to $20 million per year and that Victoria Police spent roughly 21,000 hours investigating the crime annually.

“Our investment in this Crime Stoppers campaign will help Victoria Police crackdown on petrol thieves and sends a strong message to would-be thieves that petrol theft is a crime that will be prosecuted,” Ms Neville said.

“We know that when fuel theft does occur it’s costly for operators and impacts their livelihood, anyone caught stealing fuel now has a higher chance of being reported to Crime Stoppers and can face up to 10 years in jail.”

Earlier this year, Star Weekly reported that 160 petrol thefts were reported to Wyndham police between April last year and March this year compared to 145 fuel thefts within the previous 12 months.

According to data from the Crime Statistics Agency, out of the 160 thefts, Little River notched up the highest number in the municipality with 49 offences, followed by Laverton North with 36 thefts.

There was also 16 fuel thefts in Hoppers Crossing, 15 in Wyndham Vale, 15 in Truganina, 13 in Werribee and 12 in Tarneit.

Anyone with information about fuel thefts can contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.