A second person has pleaded guilty to three large petrol thefts in Martinborough, Eketahuna and Palmerston North which happened last year.

Tereza Rose Hardgrave, 36, had pleaded not guilty in September to stealing 200 litres of petrol from Eketahuna and around 1000 litres each from petrol stations in Martinborough and Palmerston North.

Hardgrave had been jointly charged with Paul John Lovett, 39, who pleaded guilty and was sentenced last November to home detention.

Yesterday in Masterton District Court, Hardgrave changed her plea to guilty.


The pair had stolen 200 litres of petrol from Eketahuna in August, about 1000 litres from a petrol station in Martinborough on August 25, and another 1000 litres from Palmerston North around the same time. The petrol had been stolen using a Toyota Estima people carrier, with the rear seats removed to make way for fuel containers or plastic drums. In each case the petrol was pumped directly from underground fuel tanks through a small opening used for a measuring stick.

In the case of the Eketahuna theft, less petrol was taken but the business suffered loss from a delayed petrol delivery and having to replace missing and damaged equipment.

Police following up the thefts discovered an indoor cannabis operation run by Lovett and another man, who was jailed for his involvement while Lovett received a sentence of home detention.

In connection with this Hardgrave yesterday also pleaded guilty to permitting premises to be used for cannabis cultivation.

She was remanded until April 28 for sentence.