Americans steal gasoline and resell it at record prices: “There is no Robin Hood in this”

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Thieves across the United States are stealing gasoline, either by physically taking gasoline from pumps and other vehicles or by hacking into gasoline retailer networks, as fuel prices soar record levels.

And while gas thieves might think they’re doing drivers a favor by reselling stolen gas at a discount, experts say gas thieves aren’t exactly sticking to the man as they do. think.

Thieves put themselves in danger when they attempt to physically steal gasoline.
(Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

“There’s no Robin Hood in this,” Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic industry initiatives at the National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), told Fox News Digital. “They are thieves. They don’t steal from the rich and don’t give to the poor. The gas station owner is the least responsible for the high prices. The cost of theft trickles down to the higher prices, and when people drive with unsecured fuel flights, that’s a concern for everyone.”

Air Force veteran Terry Kim, co-founder of NGT Academy, a network engineering and cybersecurity training academy, similarly said, “It’s really sad because what really loses in this kind of situations, it’s the owner of the gas station.”

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“You can literally bankrupt them completely [into] bankruptcy doing this sort of thing. Even though stealing oil can help people or get gas for free, it’s really a bad thing for those gas station owners,” he said.

In Virginia Beach earlier this month, police observed “numerous vehicles” using devices to pump gas from a Citgo station that was closed at the time.

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“During officers’ preliminary investigation, it was determined that devices were being used to illegally gain access to gas pumps. Individuals were then selling gasoline at a reduced rate through a phone app and announcing the operation on social media. It was determined that thousands of dollars worth of gasoline was stolen from the business over several days,” the Virginia Beach Police Department said in a June 14 news release.

To protect themselves from cyberattacks, fuel retailers must ensure that their networks are up-to-date and properly secured so that their technology infrastructure does not have any vulnerabilities or weaknesses that allow hackers to infiltrate their networks and steal or alter information. . Stores and franchises should also train their employees, said Kim and NGT Academy co-founder Jacob Hess.

More thieves are stealing gasoline in the United States, with 25% of fuel retailers reporting an increase in gasoline thefts.

More thieves are stealing gasoline in the United States, with 25% of fuel retailers reporting an increase in gasoline thefts.
(David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Physical thefts of gas that do not involve cyberattacks are another issue.

Lenard said about 25% of gas retailers saw an increase in gas thefts compared to last year, citing data from the US Energy Information Administration.

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Thieves “gain access to the pump and… either bypass the system, either physically or electronically, and reset the prices to extremely low, or keep the transaction open where multiple people can make the same transaction,” a explained Lenard.

“It’s a trend. The other trend is someone who retrofits or rejiggers a flat panel van or some type of vehicle and then parks over the underground storage tank and pulls gas from the underground storage tank , then resells,” he explained. . “And that’s probably the most common right now.”

In Salt Lake City, Utah, security camera footage captured a thief stealing gasoline from a truck parked outside Summit Fire and Protection, a security and fire protection company, before so that his body does not catch fire.

Thieves had previously stolen the catalytic converter and gasoline from the parked truck before another thief tried to steal more gasoline from the vehicle on June 12, according to KSLV-TV.

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“The guy tried to siphon gas and he wouldn’t get the siphon to work. So he decided to puncture the gas tank, and that’s when it caught fire,” said branch manager Travis Mills told the outlet, adding that “it’s not worth the $5 he would have saved for the injury the guy suffered.”

The Vegas The police department also warns against physical thefts of gas.

“These thieves are very sophisticated. They will take a truck that looks like a normal truck, like a highway service truck, and there are complex pipes inside,” said police department Lt. Jeff Swanbeck. from Vegas. The Financial Crimes Section told KVVU. “They’ll open the gas pump itself, and there’s a series of gears inside, and they’re smart enough to figure out how to manipulate the gears.”

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Lenard explained how thieves put themselves in danger when they attempt to physically steal gasoline.

“First of all, it’s dangerous for thieves because fuel burns on vapor, it doesn’t burn on liquid. … Fumes are volatile,” he said. “Gas stations have fancy vapor recovery systems. Thieves don’t. There are certain issues where…it’s not dangerous at the gas station for anyone but thieves siphoning off fuel. … They’re basically a moving bomb.”

The national average gas price was $4.91 per gallon over the weekend, with some western and northeastern states seeing prices above $5 and $6 per gallon.

The national average gas price was $4.91 per gallon over the weekend, with some western and northeastern states seeing prices above $5 and $6 per gallon.
(David Paul Morris/Bloomberg)

Fuel retailers should watch out for people who “linger outside” or “park over your underground storage tank” for long periods of time.

The national average gasoline price was $4.91 per gallon over the weekend, with some western and northeastern states seeing prices above $5 and $6 per gallon, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). In California, the average was $6.33 on Saturday.

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Under Biden, gasoline prices soared 5 cents overnight and left Americans paying an average of $1.82 more than just a year ago, when the price was 3.05 $, according to the AAA.

The United States produced 12 million barrels of crude oil per day in the week ending June 10, according to the latest data from the Energy Information Administration. By comparison, domestic drillers produced 13.1 million barrels per day in March 2020.

Fox News’ Thomas Catenacci and Houston Keene contributed to this report.

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