Stealing hundreds of gallons of gas may seem like a lengthy project, but for some thieves hitting South Florida gas stations, it’s taking just minutes to get fueled up.
“To take out 500 gallons from the tank; it took them about three minutes to take it out,” said gas station owner Armandok Abreau.
He’s installed a lock and has resorted to putting barrels over the valves leading to his underground fuel tanks. So far, he’s been hit by gas thieves three times.
Thieves will typically pull a vehicle like a van with storage tank inside over the top of the valves. They then use a long hose running from the storage tank in the truck through the bottom and into the fuel stored underground to siphon the gas.
Broward Couny officials found a van rigged for gas thefts and surveillance video from a Mobile station in Cutler Bay showed a black SUV believed to be involved in fuel theft possibly providing cover for another vehicle.
“It is an epidemic,” Abreau said. “IT is happening to more than one person. Now people are starting to hurt in their pockets.”
Abreau said the gas thieves will then take the stolen gas or diesel fuel to truck drivers and other gas stations and resell it for a profit.