So now - Petrol prices are the root of all evil

Discussion in 'Australia and New Zealand' started by scotty72, Jul 11, 2006.

  1. scotty72

    scotty72 New Member

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    Woe is the motorist – what rot.


    If you're stealing food to feed your starving kids, I can understand but, are cars so sacred that stealing for them is justifiable? What does this say about the priorities of your average motorists?
    I can’t afford a Ferrari, is it ok for me to steal one, or is it my responsibility to find alternatives and / or adjust my expectations.


    Theft is theft!




    http://www.news.com.au/story/0,10117,19763257-1242,00.html

    Petrol costs drive crime

    By Rhett Watson


    July 12, 2006



    RECORD fuel prices are turning motorists into criminals with 32 drivers a day stealing petrol from service stations across New South Wales - a 130 per cent rise in two years.

    Drivers refusing to wear soaring fuel costs are risking fines and potential two-year jail terms by using stolen or defaced number plates to avoid detection as they leave the bowser without paying.

    The crime was identified as a growing problem last year but the latest police figures, obtained exclusively by The Daily Telegraph, show it is now accelerating faster than fuel prices, which sat at 131.9c a litre yesterday.

    Based on the past four months of police figures, the average number of motorists failing to pay for petrol each day in NSW is 30, up from 13 a day over the same period in 2004.

    This figure is said to be lower than reality. Police and service station operators agree the crime is now so prevalent that it is often not reported.

    Police are finding the criminals in these cases run across the whole gamut of society.

    "Recently we've had a big four-wheel-drive Lexus worth about $100,000 involved in five fail-to-pays where they have filled up with $160 in premium unleaded each time," acting Superintendent Nick Bingham said.

    The owner has been fined for refusing to disclose who was driving at the time.

    Last month a Mt Annan resident was fined $930 for twice failing to pay for $50 in petrol after he filled up his BMW.

    One service station operator, in Sydney's southwest, said he now had 12 "drive-offs" a month, compared to one a month three years ago. All now involve stolen or defaced number plates.

    "I don't even bother to call the police now because it's a waste of time," he said. "It's frustrating. It's worse than ever before."

    One Penrith operator suffering from three "drive-offs" a week said it was a case of motorists "trying to stick it back to us for the high prices".

    The crime is biting hard into profit margins with many operators reporting average losses of $200 to $250 a week.

    An operator in southwest Sydney recently told police he had lost $60,000 in petrol stolen by motorists this year.

    While the crime is tough to solve, police in the Liverpool area have started using a pregnant officer on restricted duties to investigate "drive-offs"

    In just three weeks, the officer has laid 28 charges against eight motorists for fraud and using stolen or defaced number plates.

    "It's hurting our crime statistics to encourage everyone to report them but we have to do something about this problem," Supt Bingham said.

    "If we let people get away with these crimes then they will just keep occurring."

    Police believe the fraud would end if motorists had to pre-pay.

    However, many service station owners said they feared a backlash from their customers.

     
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  2. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    scotty72 wrote:
    > Police believe the fraud would end if motorists had to pre-pay.
    >
    > However, many service station owners said they feared a backlash from
    > their customers.


    When I was in northern California last year I was surprised to discover
    the prepay system they had in 90% of the servos I went to. You could
    either swipe your credit card or go in and pay a set amount in cash
    (and get change if you use less, or go and pay more if you didn't guess
    right). Took us extra time because we were using cash, but we got used
    to it pretty quickly.

    What's the backlash likely to be? Armed holdups for fuel? Mad Max here
    we come.
     
  3. TimC

    TimC Guest

    On 2006-07-11, scotty72 (aka Bruce)
    was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
    > Police believe the fraud would end if motorists had to pre-pay.
    >
    > However, many service station owners said they feared a backlash from
    > their customers.


    Eh? I was thinking something along these lines before -- why the hell
    shouldn't the morotist prepay?

    --
    TimC
    Smash head on keyboard to continue.
     
  4. TimC

    TimC Guest

    On 2006-07-12, Andrew (aka Bruce)
    was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
    > scotty72 wrote:
    >> Police believe the fraud would end if motorists had to pre-pay.
    >>
    >> However, many service station owners said they feared a backlash from
    >> their customers.

    >
    > When I was in northern California last year I was surprised to discover
    > the prepay system they had in 90% of the servos I went to. You could
    > either swipe your credit card or go in and pay a set amount in cash
    > (and get change if you use less, or go and pay more if you didn't guess
    > right). Took us extra time because we were using cash, but we got used
    > to it pretty quickly.


    Why would you be able to take out more than what you paid for?

    --
    TimC
    cpu time/usefulness ratio too high -- core dumped.
     
  5. Theo Bekkers

    Theo Bekkers Guest

    Andrew wrote:
    > scotty72 wrote:
    >> Police believe the fraud would end if motorists had to pre-pay.
    >>
    >> However, many service station owners said they feared a backlash from
    >> their customers.

    >
    > When I was in northern California last year I was surprised to
    > discover the prepay system they had in 90% of the servos I went to.
    > You could either swipe your credit card or go in and pay a set amount
    > in cash (and get change if you use less, or go and pay more if you
    > didn't guess right). Took us extra time because we were using cash,
    > but we got used to it pretty quickly.
    >
    > What's the backlash likely to be? Armed holdups for fuel? Mad Max here
    > we come.


    The backlash will be from the servo operators, not the customers.

    Servo operators don't like their customers paying by card at the pump. BP in
    WA has stopped doing this, forcing you to go into the shop to pay, hoping
    you will buy something else whilst you're there. I prefer pay at the pump
    myself. Drive up, swipe, fill up, go. On the motorcycle it also means you
    don't have to take your helmet off and then put it back on 30 seconds later.
    Removing your helmet is not only inconvenient, it is also hard on the ears.

    Theo
     
  6. Andrew

    Andrew Guest

    TimC wrote:
    > On 2006-07-12, Andrew (aka Bruce)
    > > When I was in northern California last year I was surprised to discover
    > > the prepay system they had in 90% of the servos I went to. You could
    > > either swipe your credit card or go in and pay a set amount in cash
    > > (and get change if you use less, or go and pay more if you didn't guess
    > > right). Took us extra time because we were using cash, but we got used
    > > to it pretty quickly.

    >
    > Why would you be able to take out more than what you paid for?


    You shouldn't. Unlike people who put in $5 at a time (every day) and
    trick themselves into thinking they're not spending much, I prefer to
    fill to the brim (which also lets me calculate mileage
    (kilometreage?)).

    But being in a different country with a different car we had the choice
    of putting in a fixed dollar amount (how many of these gallon thingys
    fit into this car again?) or using a credit card and getting hit with
    more fees upon our return. Once, we guessed wrong and didn't get enough
    fuel for our fixed spend so had to go in and do it again so we could
    continue filling.
     
  7. SteveA

    SteveA New Member

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    Recently, someone stole the number plates off one of our vehicles while it was parked on the street outside our house in Perth.

    When I reported it to the police later the same day, their immediate comment was "Ah, your plates will have been used for a petrol station drive-off already".

    When I got the replacement plates, I rivetted them on rather than using screws again. Of course, the rivets can be drilled out but I suspect that would be a bit more effort than most thieves would want o be making.

    SteveA
     
  8. Theo Bekkers

    Theo Bekkers Guest

    SteveA wrote:

    > When I reported it to the police later the same day, their immediate
    > comment was "Ah, your plates will have been used for a petrol station
    > drive-off already".


    I'm guilty of 'stealing' petrol. Went to the BP in Morley last year, filled
    up, went in, got a coke and a picnic bar, handed over my BP card, said "and
    the ute", got my reciept, left. Got a call from the cops next day, looked at
    the reciept, it said shop $4.xx, no fuel on it. Went back and paid again.
    Does that make me part of the statistics?

    Theo
     
  9. TimC

    TimC Guest

    On 2006-07-12, Theo Bekkers (aka Bruce)
    was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
    > Andrew wrote:
    >> When I was in northern California last year I was surprised to
    >> discover the prepay system they had in 90% of the servos I went to.
    >> You could either swipe your credit card or go in and pay a set amount
    >> in cash (and get change if you use less, or go and pay more if you
    >> didn't guess right). Took us extra time because we were using cash,
    >> but we got used to it pretty quickly.
    >>
    >> What's the backlash likely to be? Armed holdups for fuel? Mad Max here
    >> we come.

    >
    > The backlash will be from the servo operators, not the customers.
    >
    > Servo operators don't like their customers paying by card at the pump. BP in
    > WA has stopped doing this, forcing you to go into the shop to pay, hoping
    > you will buy something else whilst you're there.


    Service station operators haven't made a profit off petrol for years.
    They rely on your buying stuff inside to make a living. So they will
    be wise to make sure you have to go inside to pay.

    > Removing your helmet is not only inconvenient, it is also hard on the ears.


    I can imagine. But why do you have to take the helmet off? Only to
    appease them that you are not about to rob them? What, they won't
    take your money if you don't take your helmet off?

    --
    TimC
    Did you know that in German, Usenet bulletin boards are called
    Gruppenareabrettecholistennetzs? - James "Kibo" Parry
     
  10. TimC

    TimC Guest

    On 2006-07-12, SteveA (aka Bruce)
    was almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea:
    >
    > Recently, someone stole the number plates off one of our vehicles while
    > it was parked on the street outside our house in Perth.
    >
    > When I reported it to the police later the same day, their immediate
    > comment was "Ah, your plates will have been used for a petrol station
    > drive-off already".
    >
    > When I got the replacement plates, I rivetted them on rather than using
    > screws again. Of course, the rivets can be drilled out but I suspect
    > that would be a bit more effort than most thieves would want o be
    > making.


    In Vic, the police supply you with screws that can't be undone -- they
    have to be drilled out.

    --
    TimC
    "A distributed system is one in which I cannot get something done
    because a machine I've never heard of is down." -- Leslie Lamport
     
  11. Resound

    Resound New Member

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    You can get those in most hardware places too.
     
  12. Bleve

    Bleve Guest

    TimC wrote:

    > > Removing your helmet is not only inconvenient, it is also hard on the ears.

    >
    > I can imagine. But why do you have to take the helmet off? Only to
    > appease them that you are not about to rob them? What, they won't
    > take your money if you don't take your helmet off?


    Go ask this on aus.moto ... it's their version of "bike helmets don't
    work".

    The short answer is that it's supposed to mean that servo operators can
    see your face, and that Theo has very large ears :)
     
  13. SteveA

    SteveA New Member

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    Rivet gun was close to hand. Another option for making screws or bolts un-undoable (does that make them "doable"? if un-undoable is a double negative?) is to use allen headed screws/bolts and hammer a suitable sized ball bearing in to the hexagonal aperture.

    (Note - It would be very naughty to do this to other people's allen head bolts without their permission :rolleyes: . No matter how much that person deserves it!)
     
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