A Canterbury petrol station is searching for clues after a mystery man "forgot" to pay for his fuel.
But his cardboard 'number plates' are making it difficult to track him down.
Caltex Kaiapoi shared a picture of the man on Tuesday on its Facebook page, appealing for help.
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"This lovely chap came onto our forecourt and filled up his car Tuesday evening but he seems to have forgotten to pay."
Upon closer inspection, his rear number plate is covered by a cardboard sign reading "IOU".
As well as covering his front and back plates, the man is wearing a hood and a black scarf over his face.
Multiple members of the Kaiapoi community commented on the picture saying they had seen him, but his unconventional plates has made it difficult to track him down.
"Saw him driving down the street in Kaiapoi yesterday," wrote one man. "The plates caught my eye and not him unfortunately."
Some people had faith in the man, saying his homemade plates clearly show he intends to return and pay.
Others were sympathetic to the bandit's cause, saying petrol is so expensive that it's unsurprising people are turning to a life of crime.
The post has been shared more than 900 times.