IF you’re going to steal petrol from the APCO service station in Raglan Parade you better smile for the camera.
Any petrol drive-offs or thefts from the store are promptly displayed on a poster with the offender’s mug there for the world to see.
Store manager Edgar Tanner said most thieves were identified within two hours and then reported to police. The poster, at the entry to the store, has been there for about 12 months and was a brain child of APCO head office.
“It’s been very successful,” Mr Tanner said.
“We will put a photo up and within about two hours we usually have a name which we then forward to the police.
“We’ve got 24 cameras, and then 14 cameras that are not so visual to customers. If there is anything suspicious going on we monitor it.
“We have enough surveillance to watch what is going on.”
Mr Tanner said the public had been very helpful in helping to identify people and the poster also acted as a form of deterrence for wouldbe thieves.
“People really love it,” he said. “We’re very happy with the result. I’d highly recommend it to others.”
Mr Tanner said the service station had a drive-off about once a month and there were also customers who made genuine mistakes by forgetting to pay.
“Once we had a elderly gentleman who police tracked down and he was very embarrassed,” he said.
“He genuinely forgot.
“It’s pretty easy to pick people who are going to have a go at you.
“If you’re smart enough and have enough time you can watch them and make sure they know you’re watching them.”
Mr Tanner said most drive-offs were committed by locals with the occasional interstate offender.
“On the odd occasion it’s an interstate driver but they’ve probably left a trail from Melbourne to Adelaide,” he said.