Fuel Theft

Crime Prevention Safety for Small Retail Learn more about receiving discounts

Fuel Theft

Whether or not your jurisdiction has pay-at- the-pump or pre-pay legislation, fuel theft represents a potential hazard for staff. Like any kind of robbery, fuel theft can put staff at risk of violence and many of the violence and robbery prevention tips on this site apply to instances of fuel theft.

The safety of staff and customers must come first. An attendant must never try to argue with, physically stop or chase a person suspected of stealing fuel. Ensure that all staff know and follow your procedures for dealing with fuel theft. Review the training module for more training resources.

Fuel Theft Prevention

Some things you can do to prevent fuel theft include:

  • Watch each vehicle pulling up to the pumps
  • Maintain good visibility to the pump islands and driveways
  • Pay attention to the outer island pumps, especially at peak hours. Fuel  theft usually occurs when the site is busy
  • Make eye contact with the customer at full serve pumps
  • Monitor outside cameras
  • Look for signs of concern such as  covered license plate numbers (lowered tailgate, for example) a passenger filling up or the engine running while fueling
  • Note suspicious people or vehicles hanging around the site. Call the police if anyone’s safety is in question or if something happens that makes you suspicious
  • Always ask each and every customer at the pay point if they have purchased fuel
  • Monitor islands for CRIND (Card Reader in Dispenser) confusion – sometimes customers need help
  • Acknowledge customers using the intercom

What to do if a Fuel Theft Occurs

If you witness a fuel theft, do not leave the store. 

Never chase after a fuel theft suspect or put yourself in danger in any way.


  • Run after a vehicle
  • Place yourself in front of a vehicle
  • Approach an aggressive offender

After the incident

Fill out a fuel theft report. Record as much information as you can, such as:

  • Description of vehicle – make, model, colour, condition
  • License plate number
  • Description of the driver and/or passengers – sex, age, race, colour of clothing etc.
  • Time and date
  • Value of theft – litres, dollars
  • Pump island and grade
  • Attendant name
  • Print off a receipt for the fuel theft and attach it to the report

Call your local police to report the theft. Let them know if you think this is a repeat offender. Record the case number on the report.

If you have video footage, set it aside for the police to reference.


*This module contains information adapted from materials shared with us by “Drive off Safety”, an initiative of Toronto Crime Stoppers, and “Drive-Off Prevention” a manual produced by the Calgary Police Service and the Canadian Fuels Association.


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