Sneaky Texas Fuel Heist is Like Something Out of a Hollywood Movie
Thieves made three separate trips to the same Texas gas station and stole 1,000 gallons of gas.
Desperate times call for desperate measures, as today's gas prices continue to soar across the country. The high prices are turning fuel into a hot commodity, leading some people to plot creative ways to steal it.
The first thing these thieves needed to do was find a gas station at which to carry out their sneaky scheme. Turns out they would find that location at Fuqua Express, a family owned gas station in southwest Houston. The idea was to pull their van up over a storage tank, then pump the fuel directly into storage containers through a trap door inside the van. The thieves never even had to exit the vehicle to pull it off.
The thieves would show up and park over the underground storage containers and get to work, pumping 360 gallons of fuel into their containers before leaving. Seeing how successful it was, they returned the next day and pulled it off again - pump another 360 gallons of fuel and leave. It worked so well they did it a third day, totaling over 1,000 gallons estimated to be worth about $5,000.
Suspicion & Surveillance
Of course, none of this went unnoticed. Owner Jerry Thayil noticed the missing gas right away, and after the second day he looked at surveillance video to see what he could find out. Thayil became suspicious of a van that would pull in, park over the storage tanks for about 15 to 20 minutes, then leave.
On the fourth day, the thieves tried their luck once again. According to KPRC, this time Thayil noticed them right away and ran out of his office in pursuit. Surveillance video shows Thayil chasing the van.
Thayil would call the cops and file a report, but no arrests have been made as of yet. The scam seemed to have worked for the first couple of days, so these guys will almost surely try this again.
Gas - it's like currency, and if prices don't start coming down soon, we may see more of these types of heists.
Don't Let Thieves Get Your Gas
If thieves are brazen enough to hit a gas station like this, what makes you think they won't target your car or truck?
There are some ways to protect yourself. First, look into getting a locking gas cap, even if the door over your current gas cap locks. It's just an extra layer of protection. If you see damage to the locking gas cap, make sure you haven't been syphoned.
Second, try your best to park in a well-lit place, in your garage, or at least where your fuel door is visible to the street or security cameras.
Third, try not to let your vehicle sit too long anywhere unattended. If you're going to be out of town for a while, ask a friend or neighbor to check on your car once in a while. If you're traveling, see if a friend can give you a ride to the airport instead of leaving your car in the airport lot for a long time.
Keep an eye on your fuel gauge. If something seems fishy and there's no leak, it's possible you've been targeted.