PETROL stations have been hit by drivers filling up their tanks before leaving without paying.
Over the last few weeks, police have received a string of reports from garages across Wearside, of motorists fleeing before paying for their petrol or diesel.
In the majority of cases, the driver has also filled up a container with fuel.
Neighbourhood Inspector Cheryl Warcup said: “We’re carrying out extensive inquiries to find those responsible, and would urge anyone who may have any information to contact police.
“If any member of the public sees someone filling up with petrol or diesel and driving off without paying, especially if they fill a container as well, they should contact police.
“Anyone thinking of bilking should be warned that we are targeting them.”
Anyone with any information can contact police on 03456 043 043, extension 69191, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.