CCTV footage has been released of a thief stealing fuel from an Alnwick garage.
The incident happened in the early hours of this morning at the town’s BP service station on Hawfinch Drive.
The man can be seen filling up the dark purple Vauxhall Corsa, before jumping back in the car and hastily driving off without paying.
The offender had his registration plates partially covered up, revealing only N*** *ND. He managed to get away with stealing £33.26 of unleaded petrol.
The site’s managed commission operator Michelle Summers spoke of her frustration at the incident.
She said: “He drove onto an empty forecourt just after midnight and headed to the furthest away pump. He then proceeded to fill his car with petrol before making off at speed.
“The police have been contacted and the partial plates have been circulated. He is aged approximately 35 to 40 and was wearing a grey hoodie with a yellow Nike symbol on the front.”
Michelle told the Gazette that this type of offence, known as bilking – the act of driving onto a petrol forecourt and deliberately driving off without paying – is happening more and more.
She said: “This is becoming an all too regular occurrence and it is becoming a huge problem at Alnwick, with at least a couple of very deliberate acts of bilking occurring each month.
“What people don’t realise is it’s a franchise set-up so not a massive company like BP that takes the hit for these crimes, it’s my very small local company who employs 18 local people that has to absorb the costs.”