3 Mar 2015

Man's theft fuels judge's ire

6:51 pm on 3 March 2015

A man who stole 30,000 litres of fuel to sell at his Dunedin service station has been warned he will be imprisoned if he doesn't come up with solid reparations for a victim.

Mohammed Hussain

Mohammed Hussain Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

Mohammed Rizwan Hussain, 26, pleaded guilty last September to stealing $77,000 worth of petrol and diesel from two competitors by using maintenance bypass codes on the fuel pumps.

Hussain resold the fuel at Sawyer Bay Motors, which he owned, and his brother-in-law managed.

The police summary of facts shows Hussain lives in Auckland, but travelled down to Dunedin for the thefts, which were carried out over more than a year.

The Sawyers Bay Motors service station, which was used to sell stolen fuel.

Sawyers Bay Motors - closed, with a "For Lease" sign in the window and long grass in the front. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

He was caught by the owner of the Pak'n'Save supermarket service station in South Dunedin on a Sunday in October 2012 filling a van through its window - into a 750 litre tank inside.

Hussain had previously worked servicing fuel pumps in the North Island and knew special codes able to put the pumps offline, bypassing the payment systems.

The owner who caught him later found Hussain had stolen from him 35 times, taking a total of 18,300 litres with a retail value of $38,142.

Hussain also pleaded guilty to stealing fuel 10 times, worth a total of $39,000, from a Caltex service station in Dunedin.

Sentencing delayed

In the Dunedin District Court this afternoon, Judge Phillips said he would be ordering full repayment to the first victim, with $10,000 now and the rest over two years.

But the judge then adjourned Hussain's sentencing hearing, saying he could not sentence him today because there was not enough security over his property to guarantee the reparations.

Judge Phillips said Hussain was procrastinating and he would not tolerate it any longer, warning Hussain he would be punished for contempt of court unless he made good on his previous promises.

He gave Hussain 21 days to provide full details of his assets and business interests, and put the service station business up as legal security for the reparations.