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

05/31/08 - East Texas

Gas Theft

by Christa Lollis

As Paul Michaels fills up his tank, the dollars keep racking up. It takes nearly a thousand dollars to fill up his 18 wheeler. He says those high prices are drawing thieves into the gas stealing business. "It would be a lot of people looking for a quick buck. This stuff is liquid gold you know at 4 or 5 bucks a gallon, it's a quick, quick fix."

People are siphoning gas or breaking the gas lines. It's a crime that's happened a few times here in East Texas just in the last few weeks. But some drivers say it's nothing new, it's just hitting closer to home now. "It's been going on for quite a while not just only since the gas price has gone up it's been going on a couple of years. Right now at the rate of gas this is really hurting the most right now," one driver said.

That same driver said it's the owner operators who really suffer most when their gas is stolen. "You get a load that's only paying 800 dollars it's gonna take anywhere with gas prices now about 600 to 700 dollars to fill up so they're really not making no money off the load." The big rigs who have been getting ripped off are the one's parked overnight in open areas and on the side of the road. And the thieves are able to get in and out before anyone notices. "I'd say in 15 minutes they can drain out 300 gallons of fuel that's a grand anywhere in the country," Michaels said. And it's a chunk of these drivers paychecks. Parking in well lit areas and keeping a lock on your gas tank will help keep the thieves away and the gas in your tank.

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