THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

WOODSTOCK, N.B. — Police officers across New Brunswick are no longer investigating thefts of fuel from service stations unless there is a threat to public safety.

Earlier this month, the New Brunswick Association of Chiefs of Police sent a letter to petroleum retailers across the province, saying the change was needed because there are more effective ways of dealing with the steady increase in fuel thefts.

The association’s president, Woodstock police Chief Gary Forward, says this type of crime can be prevented by introducing provincial legislation that would require customers to pay before they fill up, as is already the case in Alberta and British Columbia.

Forward says fuel thefts at gas stations have been virtually eliminated in the two western provinces.

The law in B.C. was implemented in 2008, almost three years after 24-year-old gas attendant Gant De Patie was dragged to his death while trying to stop a gas-and-dash theft in Maple Ridge, B.C.

Forward says New Brunswick’s police chiefs and the RCMP have spent the past year trying to persuade the provincial government to introduce “pay-before-you-pump” legislation.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published April 29, 2024.

The Canadian Press

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