A MOTORIST has told of his frustration after being wrongly accused of stealing fuel from a Tesco petrol station.
Paul Patterson, 57, has called the supermarket “ridiculous” after it admitted a “mix-up” at the forecourt led to the blunder on Sunday October 3.He had filled his car at the Tesco Esso in Basford, Nottingham, and paid £22 in total, £20 for his petrol and £2 in the shop but, during his visit, Paul drove back round into the forecourt, waiting for his wife who was doing the shopping, before the pair drove off.
The driver later received a letter from Nottinghamshire Police saying he was believed to have filled his car up with £35.22 worth of fuel before driving off without paying.
But, as Nottinghamshire Live reports, Tesco had wrongly identified a car which left the filling station without paying as Paul’s vehicle.
Paul, who is a bus driver, said: “They have got it completely wrong.
“I only found out about it when I got a letter from the force headquarters. If I had paid cash, which I nearly did and often do, and not taken a receipt, I would have had no way of proving I had paid for it.
“I hadn’t done anything wrong and I was being accused of being a thief. It’s ridiculous.”
I hadn’t done anything wrong and I was being accused of being a thief. It’s ridiculous
Paul, from Highbury Vale, Nottingham, explained he didn’t want to wait at the pump while his wife finished the shopping because he would have held other drivers up.
So instead he drove away and back into the forecourt to wait.
But Tesco said it looked at CCTV footage which made it look like Paul’s car left without paying. On closer inspection, the car in front of Paul’s was identified as the vehicle which had one this.
The supermarket giant has apologised for the error.
Paul added: “It just so happens that I had proof of payment.
“I went back to the garage and showed them that I had paid them on my phone.
“They have got it completely wrong.”
Police Constable Adam Francis, from Nottinghamshire Police, said: “When we receive reports of an alleged crime it is our duty to investigate.
“In line with standard procedure a letter was sent to the registered keeper of the vehicle providing details. “Brinkwire Summary News”.