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Fuel Drive Offs - Forgot To Pay

Catch a Thief UK have formed a strategic partnership with Fuel Guardian!

Catch a Thief UK is proud to announce a strategic partnership with Fuel Guardian, aimed at combating fuel theft and recovering losses resulting from drive-offs and instances where customers have forgotten to pay or lacked means of payment after dispensing fuel from forecourt pumps under our protection across the United Kingdom.


Theft of fuel, whether through deliberate drive-offs or unintentional failure to pay, poses a significant financial burden, amounting to millions of pounds in losses annually. This not only impacts independently owned and corporate petrol stations but also adversely affects the communities they serve.

Through our collaboration with Fuel Guardian, we are committed to deterring fuel theft and ensuring that losses incurred due to drive-offs and payment oversights are promptly addressed. Our joint efforts aim to safeguard the interests of petrol stations and the surrounding communities by implementing proactive measures to combat fuel theft and uphold accountability.

Together, Catch a Thief UK and Fuel Guardian strive to create a safer and more secure environment for petrol stations and their patrons, working towards reducing the prevalence of fuel-related crimes and fostering greater trust and confidence within the community.

Car gas nozzle refuel fill up with petrol gasoline at a gas station.  Pretty young woman r

Notice Of Intended Enforcement Action/ Prosecution 

Working with our partners Catch a Thief UK is committed and aims to reduce business crime whilst also specialising in debt recovery and criminal public/private prosecutions  

Case by case

At Catch a Thief, we recognise that each case is unique, and we meticulously analyse the details to determine the appropriate course of action. Depending on our findings, this may involve civil and/or criminal prosecution.

Upon entering any petrol forecourt protected by Fuel Guardian and Catch a Thief UK, customers will encounter transaction enforcement notices outlining the actions to be taken in the event of non-payment for fuel dispensed from our protected sites.

Should a customer leave the forecourt without making payment or lacking means of payment, additional charges will accrue until the full payment, including administration charges, is received by Fuel Guardian. Failure to pay promptly may result in tracing and transaction fees of up to £100, along with additional fees if court action is pursued. Any applications to the courts by Catch a Thief UK will incur further charges, potentially leading to a county court judgment (CCJ) or criminal conviction, depending on the circumstances.

In cases where customers have forgotten their means of payment, they are advised to inform the cashier and provide their details. The cashier will then issue a payment link for settling the fuel and administration charges.

Once a customer has departed the forecourt without making payment, all cases are promptly forwarded to Fuel Guardian for attention. All payments must be made directly to Fuel Guardian, not the cashier, in full using the provided payment link and quoting the unique reference number and vehicle registration number. Payments will not be accepted at the forecourt after departure, and customers must use the provided payment link or QR code printed on any correspondence received.


What Will Happen If I Don't Pay For My Fuel?

Upon receipt of the payment link from the cashier, customers are allotted a seven-day period to settle the fuel charges. Failure to make full payment within this timeframe will prompt Fuel Guardian to initiate vehicle tracing procedures with the DVLA. Subsequently, customers will receive a letter urging payment within seven days, accompanied by a notice of intended prosecution or enforcement action.

Non-payment within the stipulated period will result in incurring tracing fees and court fees. In such cases, Catch a Thief UK will proceed with court proceedings to recover losses, potentially applying to the courts for an attachment of earnings or benefits to recuperate any outstanding amounts.

To avoid court action and the accrual of increasing fees, customers are encouraged to utilise the "Pay For My Fuel Now" button promptly. This enables swift settlement of charges and mitigates the need for legal intervention.

Fuel Drive Offs - Making Off Without Payment!

Upon detection of a fuel drive-off or making off without payment, Catch a Thief UK swiftly initiates action by forwarding the case file for immediate attention. Our dedicated team meticulously examines all evidence received, encompassing moving CCTV footage and still images of suspect individuals and vehicles. Subsequently, we employ various channels, including this platform and our social media platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, LinkedIn, and Instagram, to create and publish public appeals.

Furthermore, we undertake the critical task of storing and matching suspects to multiple sites, diligently pursuing individuals for either public or private criminal prosecution. In our investigative process, we meticulously scrutinise cloned and stolen number plates, employing strategic measures to post public appeals both locally and nationally. Through these comprehensive efforts, we aim to effectively address instances of fuel theft and uphold the integrity of our forecourt protection initiatives.

Unauthorised taking of fuel/petrol

It is important to note that the unauthorised taking of fuel or petrol without making payment constitutes a criminal offence under section three of the Theft Act 1968/78, commonly referred to as Making Off Without Payment (MOWP).

"(1)Subject to subsection (3), a person who, knowing that payment on the spot for any goods supplied or service done is required or expected from him, dishonestly makes off without having paid as required or expected and with intent to avoid payment of the amount due shall be guilty of an offence.

This legal provision underscores the gravity of fuel theft and underscores the obligation to remit payment for goods or services rendered promptly and honestly.

Providing false/incorrect details - false/stolen number plates

Intentionally providing false or incorrect details to the cashier, or using false or stolen number plates, constitutes a criminal offence under section 2 of the Fraud Act 2006. This section pertains to fraud by false representation, which encompasses actions that are dishonest, untrue, or misleading. Thus, engaging in such deceptive practices is a serious violation of the law and may result in legal consequences.

Financial hardship/help & support

If you are experiencing financial difficulties there are a number of help and support services available both nationally and local. You can contact the national debt advice line on 0808 808 4000 or alternatively use our help and support page where you will find lots of useful telephone numbers and links for help and support services, such as foodbanks, mental health, housing and more. You can find our help and support page here.

Appeals & complaints 

If you have any concerns or would like to raise a complaint or appeal you can use our complaints form. Once we receive your compliant/appeal we usually reply within the first seven days of receipt of your email, this may sometimes take longer. You can find our complaints form here.

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