WALTHAM Forest Police are urging petrol station owners to introduce pre-payment systems to stop motorists from driving away without paying.
Officers have recently been targeting the long-standing problem in sections of the borough using mobile CCTV vans, but say different methods of paying at the pumps would greatly help bring the number of cases down.
Sergeant Ismail Madari, of Chapel End Safer Neighbourhoods Team in Walthamstow, said the garage on Forest Road by the junction with St John's Road was hit four to five times a week with thefts.
He said: "We have had some arrests in connection with this but the CCTV operations are on-going.
"It predominately happens in the evening and at night because that particular petrol station is open 24 hours."