POLICE are concerned by the rapid rise of petrol theft in the Tweed.
Tweed/Byron Local Area Command Acting Inspector Saul Wiseman said thieves usually struck on weekday afternoons.
"Stealing petrol is a problem here," he said.
"A lot is being stolen around the Tweed heads area."
At a meeting with petrol station owners police discussed methods of crime prevention.
"Owners said their staff would be more vigilant and would all be prepared to go to court," Insp Wiseman said.
Chinderah Bay Drive BP petrol station manager Peter Roby said a high-tech camera system in place at their store helped deter would-be crooks.
"It's very good," he said.
"We might get one or two drive-offs a week.
"We're not too bad but one's too many."
Mr Roby said run-offs were also reduced because the staff was trained to spot unusual behaviour.
"We teach our staff to make eye contact," he said.
"If something looks a miss they will sometimes physically go out and say, 'hi'."
The staff also writes any registration numbers down they think look suspect.
Mr Roby said their loss per-week was about $100 to $175.
"It's a major problem nationally," he said.
"About $50m to $60m in fuel is stolen every year."
Although not a huge issue at the Chinderah BP Mr Roby said it still annoyed him.
"I think it's a low act," he said.
"We report everything to the police but even if we catch them it's hard to get the money back.
"But it can help to deter."