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Crime Stoppers launches gas-and-dash awareness campaign

TORONTO, Ont. – Crime Stoppers launched an initiative on Tuesday aimed at curbing theft at the gas pump.

The move comes after the death of gas station attendant Jayesh Prajapati, 44, who was killed at a north Toronto Shell station after a motorist pumped $112 in gas and fled without paying.

The suspect, Max Edwin Tutiven, 39, in the case is yet to be captured. He is believed to be in the Montreal area.

“I want everyone who might be inclined to commit these crimes to know that the people of Toronto, the people of Ontario, are watching,” Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair said.

The campaign is being launched in collaboration with the Canadian Fuels Association, Mac’s Convenience Stores Inc., the Ontario Convenience Stores Association and the Canadian Independent Petroleum Marketers Association.

It will feature a series of ads that will be plastered at pumps across the province, which will show photographs of fictional thieves holding up licence plates and the Crime Stoppers’ 1-800 TIPS hotline.

“This strikes me as a pretty stupid crime,” Blair said.

“It’s often done in a public place, where video is available. Not every thief is a genius.”

Last month, Liberal MPP Mike Colle tabled a private member’s bill dubbed Jayesh’s Law, that would see drivers prepay for gas.

Blair showed support for Colle’s bill.

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