A VW Polo bearing a Gauteng licence plate was caught on CCTV making off with not one, but two tanks of petrol in Polokwane, without paying a cent.
On July 3, the driver of the white vehicle asked for R750 petrol at Engen Fontana Service Station. When the unsuspecting petrol attendant walked away to fetch the card machine, the driver sped off without paying, owner of the facility Albert Botha told News24.
Just a day later, the same vehicle filled up, again asking for R750, at the BP Capricorn Motors on the very next street. This time, he drove off with the station's point of sales device, the owner's daughter said. She did not want to be named.
Botha told News24 that it was a regular occurrence.
"This happens every two weeks. We had another incident yesterday... A Nissan bakkie drove away with R100 worth of fuel."
Fuel Retailers Association CEO Reggie Sibiya says theft of fuel in South Africa has almost become a normal part of doing business for retailers.
Sibiya said individual fuel retailers bore the financial brunt when drivers drove off without paying.
"The cure for this problem is pre-payment for fuel. But the challenge will be in getting customers to adjust to a new system," he said.
Limpopo SAPS spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe confirmed that a theft case was reported to Polokwane police for the incident at BP Capricorn Motors.
The owner of Engen Fontana Service Station said he has not approached the police, but added that he intended to do so as soon as he gathered additional information that would help authorities.