• BREAKING NEWS ABC shows live and on-demand -- Download the WATCH ABC app!

Gas thieves hit local businesses

July 21, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
Gas prices are around $4.50 in Southern California, so that drivers often have about $70-$80 worth of fuel in their tanks. Local thieves are using siphons and pumps to steal gas.SCP, in Santa Clarita, sells equipment for pool installations, and the company says business is down. A surprise on Monday made matters even worse.

"The gas cap was open. We had just filled it up. So, my driver told me about it. We came out here and turned on the truck and the tank went completely empty," said Cesar Sanchez, SCP distributor.

To find out why the tank was empty, Sanchez cued up the surveillance video from the night before. It showed someone drive up in a white pickup truck and start pumping the diesel from both of the delivery trucks' 45-gallon tanks. In just minutes, about 90 gallons of fuel were stolen.

"Ten minutes. That's $500. Gone," said Sanchez. "He had stuff in the back of his truck. You could tell he had pumps and all that. He was ready for it," added Sanchez.

A spokesperson for the L.A. County Sheriff's Department says crimes like this, as well as people who drive away at gas stations, tend to increase during hard economic times.

Stant Manufacturing, a company that makes gas caps that lock, has reportedly seen its sales increase four-fold.

"We had another truck parked back there, but it has locking gas caps, so, I don't think he even wanted to mess with that one. So, he chose this one. This one doesn't have the locking gas caps," said Sanchez.

Sanchez says from now on they will be locking their gas caps and parking their trucks in garages.

 

Click here for more headlines from ABC7 Eyewitness News


Load Comments