'Wall of shame' to deter thieves

Rusty’s Oz Fuel owner Shay Elman has started a
Rusty’s Oz Fuel owner Shay Elman has started a "Wall of Shame" in his store plastered with photos of offenders. Rob Williams

AFTER being the victim of one too many "drive-offs" a frustrated service station owner has resorted to shaming those he says have stolen from his business.

Rusty's Oz Fuels owner Shay Elman has erected a "Wall of Shame" with CCTV images of the people who have allegedly stolen from the store.

The wall features pictures of people who have allegedly stolen from the independent Warrego Highway service station, whether through shop-lifting or filling up their cars with petrol and driving off without paying

Mr Elman said the thefts were impacting his business.

"We're working very hard here," he said.

"It's a family business - we work from 4am every day.

"I believe these people (who steal from the service station) need to be shamed."

Mr Elman said his customers have been hugely supportive of the initiative.

"From the day we put it up people have liked it," he said.

"I'd say 99.9% of my customers are very happy with this being put up."

Laidley police senior sergeant Jim McDonald said local police had been working together with service station operators to minimise drive-offs.

"If people do drive off without paying for fuel they will be caught," Snr Sgt McDonald said.

"We've been working with the service station owners to ensure they've all got excellent (quality) CCTV cameras."

Snr Sgt McDonald said as long as the wall was only being used to assist police in identifying criminals he thought the wall could help stop the crime.

"The service station operators are passionate about this," Snr Sgt McDonald said.

"If they are using this to help identify thieves and assist us with finding them then we welcome it."

Mr Elman said he hoped the wall would allow his customers to recognise thieves and report them to the police.

Topics:  cctv jim mcdonald theft

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