With the price of gas approaching $2 per litre, merchants and police officers are noticing an increase in gasoline theft at service stations in Quebec.
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the Newspaper found that several companies in Greater Montreal now required motorists to pay at the counter or at the pump before filling up. The goal? prevent drivers from leaking after filling their tank.
“We have been robbed several times this week. The bosses have decided to force customers to pay before gassing,” says an Ultramar clerk located on rue Papineau, in Montreal, who refuses to identify himself for fear of losing his job.
Bandits even in Estrie
Gas stations in Estrie are also targeted by these thieves, confirms the Sherbrooke Police Service (SPS).
“We still see a lot of it. We feel that the increase in the price at the pump is leading to an upsurge in thefts at the moment. We counted about twenty during the last month, ”confirms Martin Carrier, spokesperson for the SPS.
According to him, there are many more criminals than you think, because traders do not automatically file a complaint after this type of crime.
The other police forces in Greater Montreal and Quebec City and even the Sûreté du Québec were unable to quantify the phenomenon yesterday.
Because of the war
It is the ongoing conflict in Ukraine that has continued to drive up gas prices at the pump since the end of February in Quebec.
Yesterday, in greater Montreal, the price at the pump was around $1.959 per litre. The metropolitan region was therefore on the verge of reaching the symbolic threshold of $2 per liter of gasoline.
As of February 28, it was still possible to fill up for less than $1.75 per litre.
On the ground, gas station owners were confronted with these dishonest customers for the first time this week. This is the case of Mariette Landry, of Dépanneur Landry, in Montmagny.
“He came to our station this week and he knew what he was doing. His plate was hidden. After refueling, he left the gun on the ground. This is the first time this has happened to us. We obviously complained to the police,” explains Mr.me Landry.
Presentations on social networks
In an attempt to track down the culprit, she decided to expose her thief on social media by posting screenshots of the surveillance videos that captured the entire crime. She’s not the only one. Denis Moreau, manager of Dépanneur Irving, in Plessisville, had the same idea.
“A lady came and filled it up for about $40. She left without paying and I paid out of pocket. We put a photo on social networks, but we have no news, ”says Mr. Moreau, who also says that this is his first misadventure of its kind.
“We are seeing more and more thefts at our nine gas stations in Quebec. These are often people who hide their plate and who flee leaving the gun on the ground so as not to alert us, ”he adds.
The manager of Dépanneur Irving, like the five other businesses with whom The newspaper spoke, ensures that they are now thinking of forcing motorists to pay before refueling.