New pump technology prevents gas theft, lets you pay after pumping [w/poll]

Depending on where you live and what gas stations you frequent, finding a pump that will let you pay after filling up is getting tougher and tougher. In an effort to curb absconders who drive off without paying, gas station owners have been forced to ratchet up security measures, leading most to go prepay only, whether that's inside the store or by swiping one's card at the pump.

But prepaying can be an inconvenience – particularly if you're settling up with cash – resulting in multiple trips to the storefront to plunk down dollars, then to return for the change and receipt. It's a small thing, but it can be an annoyance – particularly in places that experience real winters like Michigan. Thus, it should come as no surprise that a Saginaw, Michigan Marathon station is one of the first to try out a new anti drive-off security measure called Post-Pay. The system allows motorists to fill up their vehicle without paying first – provided they swipe their driver's license into the card reader.

Bob Hohn, President of Paxson Oil Company, invented the measure, having grown tired of his stores losing hundreds of dollars a week to drive-offs. According to a report by WJR-TV, the Connecticut-made Post-Pay system does not keep the buyer's information on file unless he or she is reported as a drive-off, at which point both the police and gas station are furnished with the offender's particulars. In fact, the station attendant never even sees the consumer's information under normal circumstances. Naturally, the Post-Pay system still accommodates people who'd rather pay with cash or card up front.

In the two months since the system was adopted, WJR-TV reports that the Marathon station has had just one drive off – as opposed to the three or four it averaged weekly before Post-Pay was installed. What's more, the would-be thief was subsequently caught, as his license information allowed police to track him down.

Check out WJR-TV News' story in the video after the jump, then vote in our poll and leave a comment to let fellow readers how if you'd be comfortable using such a system or whether you view it as a potential invasion of privacy.

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