Stealing Gas - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

08/19/05 - Lufkin

Stealing Gas

by Ramonica Jones

Stealing gas has gotten high tech. People are still just filling up and driving off.

Advanced criminals are now using a new more advanced way to avoid paying at the pump. Some thieves are using digital key pad programmers to override payment systems at gas pumps. They are filling up personal containers and selling the gas to other drivers at a lower cost.

No matter how gas is stolen, everyone pays, some more than others.

Theresa Burris, who works at a gas station, said, "It literally comes out of our checks at the end of the week."

Most East Texas gas station attendants aren't familiar with the latest way to steal, but many are getting smarter and tougher.

Burris said, "We hold their credit card until they are done paying, that way they can't steal."

The average price of self-serve regular gas in Texas has soared $.22 per gallon just this week to almost $2.54. Prices at the pump may be expensive, but not nearly as costly as a trip to jail.

Houston-area police recently arrested nine people on organized crime charges. The suspects reportedly used the key pads to get free gas, then pumped the gasoline into 55-gallon drums before re-selling it.

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