Caught on camera: pair used wheelie bin to steal fuel

2010-12-16 00:00

A MSUNDUZI Municipality wheelie bin supplied to load rubbish was turned into a container to carry stolen fuel in Pietermaritzburg this week.

This emerged when a Safe City CCTV camera captured two unsuspecting criminals while they were stealing fuel from a tanker truck at a filling station in Church Street in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

As they were pulling the heavy green bin away after filling it with 80 litres of fuel, the two men were confronted by police, who had been tipped off by the Safe City control room.

The cameras captured the theft drama as the men arrived at the garage at about 3.48 am and grabbed a bin. One of them was bare-chested; the other wore a white vest.

The men emptied the rubbish from the container and pulled it on to the garage forecourt where they cleaned it.

A middle-aged woman standing nearby seemed to be talking to them.

Them they moved to the tanker, filling the wheelie bin with fuel, in less than 10 minutes.

The truck driver was nowhere to be seen.

The police arrived as they were wheeling the bin away.

Safe City general manager Lucas Holtzhausen said the men were not arrested: the garage owner could not press charges because the fuel had been stolen from the tanker.

“This was the first time we captured people using a wheelie bin to steal petrol, but we have caught a number of them pulling stolen metal with the bin to sell to scrapyards. Most of those we caught doing this were arrested,” said Holtzhausen.

He reported the matter to the fuel supplier. A senior manager said that only the truck driver is able to open the pipe to let fuel out.

“The truck driver either used a cord or a key to open the pipe. If the petrol was stolen due to his negligence he will have to take responsibility …” the manager said.

Msunduzi Municipality spokesperson Brian Zuma said the municipality will investigate the matter.

“We will have to look at other means to secure those bins.”

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