A garage owner who became so fed–up with petrol thieves has created a “door of shame” at his business in order to catch the culprits.
Sunny Robinson, 46, was so frustrated by light-fingered motorists and the lack of police action he devised the name-and-shame scheme to help identify the crooks.
And the unusual method has proven to be a success, with many customers returning to pay up for stolen goods – as well as a £25 to £35 ‘admin fee’.
Using CCTV images taken at his Jet garage in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, the business owner created a display with the faces of suspects on the front door.
The wall-of-shame invites fellow customers and members of the community to identify the people in the images.
Once he gets a name, Sunny writes to the suspects, demanding they reimburse him and pay an ‘admin fee’ for the effort taken to find them.
The businessman said the display at the his garage has led to 70 per cent of petrol thieves being identified.
Yesterday (22/2) he said: “I just got sick of the thieving and thought it was better to name and shame those responsible.
“The majority of customers I have got are very good. There are a small amount of people that give others a bad name.
“I have been doing this for six months now. With more than two thirds we get a name. And then we usually get our money back.
“With one of them it was four months later.
“I have traded in Sutton Coldfield for 15 years and have had 20 stores around the town.
“People know my guys are very good and give good service. That’s very important to us. Manners cost nothing.
“And those customers are sympathetic when we post pictures of shoplifters and people who steal fuel.
“We ask ‘do you know this person?’.
“I think it’s the best deterrent. The police don’t do much.
“On average we get around two people caught on our CCTV cameras every month.
“One bloke sent his son up and he identified someone he knew.
“We send a letter which says: ‘You’ve come in to our shop and haven’t paid for your goods, fuel or shopping. You have seven days to pay for the items and an admin cost of £25 to £35. Otherwise we will refer you to the local authorities’.
“After sending that letter almost everyone comes in and apologies and pays up.”