Texas Thieves Steal 1,000 Gallons Of Diesel Fuel From Gas Station

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Gas stations make it wise for would-be thieves by requiring an upfront payment to start the pump. This has likely reduced the number of people driving with tanks full of stolen gas, but thieves will often look for new opportunities when one ends. In Texas, thieves are forced to build minivans with trapdoors to suck gas straight from the underground storage tank of a gas station.

It happened three days in a row to the Houston Fuqua Express gas station, according to KHOU 11. Jerry Thayil, whose family owns the business, told the news station he discovered a discrepancy that led him to comb through store surveillance footage. It was there that he noticed something odd – a minivan, which looked like a Chrysler Town & Country, would park on top of a filling tank for 15 to 20 minutes and then drive away.

According to Thayil, the suspect stole the gas through a trapdoor in the bottom of the Chrysler, using a pump to load it into the van. The charging port is locked, so it’s unclear how the thieves gained access, although Thayil believes they used their own key. He spoke with Houston police just hours before the van returned for the fourth time to steal from the station. He sees the van parked there, and he chases after it.

The thieves managed to take about 1,000 gallons of diesel from the store over three days, stealing about 350 gallons a day. The theft has cost the store an estimated $5,000, and it seems the thief didn’t work alone. Thayil also saw the surveillance vehicle in the surveillance footage – a black Porsche – parked to hide the minivan’s illegal actions.

Unfortunately, Fuqua Express isn’t the only Houston gas station dealing with burglars at the moment. Last night, a different thief stole over $8,000 from different Chevron gas stations, escaped with 1,754 gallons of diesel fuel. According to police, the suspects operated several vehicles for their operation, but law enforcement did not provide more information about the incident beyond that.

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