Petrol drive-offs occur now and then at service stations around the country, but one local criminal has taken such thieving a step further.
Almost $300 worth of petrol was stolen from the Z station in Papamoa yesterday morning by a man who brought along extra containers specifically for the job.
A witness contacted SunLive after watching the brazen theft unfold just after 11am.
“When I filled my car up was a guy next to me filling up three large petrol containers in his boot. He also filled his car. At one point the service station assistant asked if he was okay and he told her to ‘f**k off'.
“When I went inside to pay he drove off with $271 worth of petrol without paying.”
She says the shop assistants managed to get a number plate off the front of the vehicle, but there was no plate on the back.
Police confirm they attended the incident.
“A report was taken, and enquiries are ongoing,” says a police spokesperson.
The offender is described as a 172cm tall male, medium to large build, wearing a black hoodie.
Although police did not have a description of the man's ethnicity in their report, the witness says he appeared to be Maori.
"It was rather hard to see any facial features as he had his hoodie on and sunglasses."
The theft is just another in a string of crimes that have rocked Tauranga this week, including the armed robbery of a United Video store, and the attempted robbery of Quality Food and Spices on Cameron Road.