CAR crooks are using stolen number plates to get away with stealing fuel from garages.
But software designed to target the so-called bilkers could soon be installed on Birmingham forecourts to put the brakes on the petrol and diesel thieves.
With the price of a litre rocketing to record levels in recent months the amount of bilking, where motorists fill-up and drive-off without paying, has soared.
Now Automatic Number Plate Recognition systems and closed circuit television could be installed to help to stem the losses and catch the culprits.
The system works by scanning car registration plates and comparing them to a database of vehicles with a marker next to them spotlighting theft or crime.
And as part of a crackdown, officers from Belgrave Road police station have released petrol station CCTV images of two men suspected of stealing fuel and are appealing for anyone with information to come forward.
The first incident took place at Texaco on Alcester Road, in Moseley, on June 29 and the second incident took place at Shell in Stockfield Road, Acocks Green, on the same day.
Anyone with information about petrol thieves can contact police at Belgrave Road on 0845 113 5000.
In a separate incident, two people were arrested following the alleged theft of number plates.
A 32-year-old Bordesley Green man and a 20-year-old woman from Yardley were arrested in Hobs Moat Road, Solihull, on Tuesday and bailed pending further enquiries.