Gas Thieves Striking B-Town Area Stations
WHITE CENTER â€“ A team of gas thieves is stealing fuel from B-Town area gas stations.
Images of the thieves, who have been helping themselves to hundreds of gallons of gas, have been captured by surveillance cameras (see left) â€“ but the bad guys have still eluded police.
They fill up blue barrels in the back of a pickup truck, often when gas stations are closed.
They struck at one SeaTac Shell station.
“It’s just unbelievable, it really is,” said Lynelle Martin, who works behind the counter.
In the weeks since the story first broke, King County Sheriff’s detectives have developed new leads on the suspects and uncovered more bulk fuel thefts.
They now know of at least four Shell stations in the South Seattle area that have been hit and have lost up to 800 gallons at a time. Some have been targeted more than once.
Shell manager Tom Nguyen says the thieves had a key to open his pump and they expertly switched it on and filled up on $3.80 premium gas. Worse yet, they paid him several visits.
“It’s happened totally four timesâ€¦ over a month or so,” he said.
Sheriff’s detectives believe the man pumping gas seen on surveillance video is known as “D.” Another suspect’s name is “Steve.” They have a photo of a 6-foot Asian man with a frizzy pony tail.
And the truck often used is a red Nissan Titan.
Investigators aren’t sure what the men are doing with the fuel, but customers aren’t surprised that criminals are cashing in on record-high gas prices.
While some people think these guys are sticking it to “big oil,” it’s mostly small business owners who are hurt.
One gas station owner lost $3,000. He says that’s almost a month of gas profits for him.
Sheriff’s detectives are asking anyone with information about these thefts to call 911 or King County detectives at 206-296-3320.