High gas prices leading to gas and dash thefts in Weyburn, Sask., police say

As gas prices remain at an all-time high, one Saskatchewan police service says it’s noticing a trend where people fill their gas tanks and take off without paying.

Weyburn Police Service (WPS) says in the last two weeks, it’s received five to six calls of people who “gas and dash.”

“We went out and just advised the retailers around here, the gas stations, the owners, the managers to be a little more preventative if they can do the pay first, pay before you pump,” WPS Deputy Chief Brent VanDeSype said.

WPS says around $100 worth of gas was stolen each time.

“Some people may view it as minor but it’s a significant amount of cash,” VanDeSype said.

The Convenience Industry Council of Canada (CICC) says there’s a direct correlation between the rise in gas prices and fuel thefts in recent weeks.

“We have heard from some of our members and it is obviously something we are very concerned about,” CICC President and CEO Anne Kothawala said.

She says fuel thefts are felt in smaller communities that can’t afford more modern pumps.

“A province in which local gas stations and convenience stores are in peril, that also impacts tourism and it hurts communities,” Kothawala said.

Kothawala says if gas prices go down, so will thefts. Earlier this week, Alberta paused its provincial fuel tax in order to help curb high prices. It’s something the council is encouraging across the country, including Saskatchewan.

In an email to CTV News, Saskatoon Police Service (SPS) says it hasn’t noticed a change in thefts since gas prices began to rise.

Police say the best way to prevent these types of thefts is for gas stations to use crime prevention techniques such as pre-pay options.

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