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Motorists queue to steal 3,000 litres of petrol

Getty Images/Cameron Spencer

Motorists filled up with 3,000 litres of free petrol at a French supermarket service station on Saturday night. Police said they encountered “a certain hostility” when they arrived to disperse the freeloaders.


At about 10pm on Saturday a puzzled resident of Bethoncourt, a town near the Franco-Swiss border, called police to report that about 50 cars were queueing at a petrol pump at the supermarket next door.

The motorists were profiting from the fact that someone had fixed the pump, which usually allows payment by credit card, so that it filled them up for free.

They were less than happy to see gendarmes arrive and tell them they were breaking the law and the police had to call for reinforcements to stop the collective theft.

They are likely to be tracked down and charged, police say, since a number of licence plate numbers were noted.

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