Brazen gas thief siphons trouble

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by JIM FOREMAN / KING 5 News

KING5.com

Posted on November 2, 2012 at 10:32 PM

TACOMA – Area gas stations report being hit by a mystery white van over the past several weeks, and the losses could be staggering.

According to Associated Petroleum Products in Tacoma, a white Ford van with a hole cut in the floor has been sucking the gas right out of the tanks.

Surveillance video shows the white van pulling over the ports used to fill the underground tanks.

Taryn Miller of Associated Petroleum Products says a hose or “stinger” is lowered and the thief pumps away.

In one of the cases it’s clear on the video that the man in the van in smoking a cigarette. “We are talking gasoline,” Miller said, “this is highly flammable.”

Reports of the same van stealing gas in the same way have popped up across Pierce and King Counties. Some locations have been hit repeatedly.

By late Friday, there were some reports indicating police may have caught up to the man with his gas chugging van. One gas station owner told KING 5, an Enumclaw station set up a trap which snared the thief.

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