05/31/2011 12:04 EDT | Updated 07/31/2011 05:12 EDT

Drivers Should Pre-Pay At Pumps: Police

(CBC) -- Some gas station owners in Edmonton are supporting a call from police chiefs across the province to make customers pre-pay for their gas.

The Alberta Associaton of Police Chiefs say the spike in prices is creating more gasoline thefts and police have better things to do than chase gas-and-dashers.

"I think it's a good idea for most of us, especially independents," said Central Tire and Gas owner Wade Fleming. "We really work hard to get every dollar we can and if somebody runs away without paying, nobody wants to be chasing people down the street."

The bigger gas station chains have been reluctant however to ask their customers to pay up front because of the inconvenience.

"It takes too long to fill the tank and especially in the winter it's going to be brutal," said customer Daniel Braun. "I'll freeze my butt off, so I don't think it's a good idea."

The move would follow British Columbia where prepayment has been mandatory since 2008, after gas station attendant Grant de Patie was dragged to death in Maple Ridge while trying to stop a $12 gas theft.