Rotorua police were left chasing seven drivers in the past week who stole petrol worth more than $500 between them.

Senior Sergeant Graeme Hill said drive offs in the Bay of Plenty district were bad.

"Petrol stations have the ability to stop this crime, but they choose not to set service stations to prepay.

He said drivers were taking an average of $80 to $90 worth of petrol during a drive off.


"The petrol stations have excellent technology to recognise number plates and that's fantastic, but nine times out of 10, if they had to prepay they couldn't do it," HIll said."

"It's not a regional issue, this is something police are tackling on a national scale."

Two arrests made during state of emergency
When the state of emergency was announced for Ngongotaha last Sunday police were brought in by Civil Defence to manage cordons and public safety, Hill said.

"While we were dealing with the flooding in Ngongotaha two arrests were made of people trying to breach the cordon.

"We understand people wanted to get back in, but until we can utilise other resources to help they have to be patient."

The two people that were arrested were not charged, Hill said.

"If you're being bolshie and belligerent then that's not going to help, they were given the ability to calm down."

Hill said police weren't there to be the bad guys, they were just preventing people from hurting themselves.


"We were extremely stretched resource wise, but we were there for a reason.

"Overall we're pleased with the response and the feedback from the public."

High family violence on Saturday
Saturday was a "really bad day" for domestic violence, Hill said.

"It's generally coming from families, not just mum and dads, it could be anything."

He said police were not expecting such high levels given the Warriors win.

"The results of rugby matches really do have an impact."

Stolen cars
Five vehicles were stolen in Rotorua during the last week.

One is yet to be recovered by police, a red 2001 Holden Commodore, registration CMT631, taken from Bellvue Rd, Kawaha Point last Tuesday.