Pre-pay policy now in effect at some gas stations to prevent fuel theft

The rising price of fuel in Ontario has forced some gas stations in Ottawa to put a new pre-pay policy in place.

The policy is to prevent fuel theft because the owners allege many drivers were taking off without paying.

Surveillance video provided by one of the owners shows a person filling their tank then driving off. The owner says the person didn’t pay.

A sign at two different gas stations in Ottawa reads, “Prepay only, due to too many people trying to leave without paying. We are a family-owned business and cannot absorb the losses.”

“Whatever they got to do to prevent them from getting ripped off,” said one resident filling up on Saturday. “They gotta do what they gotta do.”

“It’s probably a result of the price. Many people cannot afford,” said another resident.

“People are just driving off and not paying for gas. It could be the reason that the prices are very high,” said Khushpreet Singh, who works at one of the stations with the policy in place.

Gas prices are still on the rise in Ontario. An increase in Canada’s carbon pricing plan pushed prices up on Friday.

“It’s a good idea for the federal government to at least consider a moratorium and perhaps rebates on that HST they are collecting on the much higher price,” said Dan McTeague, the president of Canadians for Affordable Energy.

As people fuel up, the pre-pay policy has prevented more thefts.

“After that we don’t have any drive offs,” said Singh. “It happened like twice a week before.” 

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