More than 1,000 gallons of fuel were stolen from underground tanks over the course of three days, a family-owned gas station said.
Following reports elsewhere in the country of fuel allegedly being stolen by people drilling holes into gas tanks, a family-owned gas station in Texas is receiving nationwide attention after thieves were reported to have used a “trap door” to steal more than 1,000 gallons of diesel.
Houston-based Fuqua Express gas station manager, Jerry Thayil, spoke with USA Today this week and revealed that the uncovering of the alleged theft began when he noticed a “360-gallon diesel fuel discrepancy.” The same discrepancy was spotted once again the following business day, at which point Thayil is said to have first seen footage of a minivan parked over the gas station’s tank inlets in a manner described as suspicious.
In another interview with Houston’s ABC 13, Thayil said the accused perpetrators have a “trap door inside their vehicle” to facilitate the fuel theft.
“The van drives on top of the fuel tank. That’s all you see,” Thayil, who estimated the total amount of stolen fuel at “about $5,000,” said. “No one comes out. They have a trap door inside their vehicle, which, is crazy.”
The alleged thieves are believed to have shown up at Fuqua Express three days in a row. On the day of the fourth alleged attempt, the individuals were chased away by management.
Complex has reached out to a rep for the Houston Police Department for additional comment. This week, a police rep told USA Today that the alleged Fuqua Express theft was under investigation. Per the same rep, the region has seen two prior reports of similar alleged incidents within the past six months.