Petrol pirates, also known as petrol truck drivers were leaving the depot with a full load but arriving at their destination 1000 litres short! They were stealing petrol meant for garages and selling it cheaply. But their luck ran out yesterday when cops and private investigators caught them red-handed. The Durban drivers who worked for Thutha Transport were contracted by Total to deliver petrol, but before making a drop-off at a garage, the petrol tankers would go to a warehouse in Bellair, Durban – and 1000 litres would be pumped into a plastic container. Drivers would sell the petrol for between R2 and R3 a litre and it was then sold on to some garages for R4 a litre. When a petrol tanker leaves the refinery, a seal is put on the hoses. So after breaking the seal, the driver would put a new seal and then head to his destination. The garage staff were unaware that they were being short-changed. On Monday night Alan Carey, a private investigator from Justica Investigations, discovered that two of the company’s trucks had stopped at a warehouse and 1000 litres had been siphoned into a container. “We took video footage of the whole thing and allowed the first truck to go,” Carey said. “Then the second truck arrived and a similar thing took place. The cops then moved in and arrested four suspects. This has been going on for a long time. We estimate that about 33 000 litres of petrol has been stolen in this way,” he said. Police are investigating charges of theft.