Turlock Bandits Activating Pumps Electronically to Steal Gas

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, November 8, 2004
With fuel prices at or near record highs in California, thieves are finding all sorts of methods to steal gasoline. Everything from siphon tubes to credit card fraud. Bandits in Turlock have figured out a way to activate filling station pumps without paying. Sergeant Matthew Speckman of the Turlock Police Department says the thefts are done electronically.  SPECKMAN :10—There is someone with a key that’s actually accessing the touch pad that a service coordinator or an outsourcer would have access to and is able to dispense fuel.  Sergeant Speckman says at least three stations have had gasoline stolen in this way. So far, the amounts haven’t exceeded 200 dollars. Police have descriptions of two suspects but there have been no arrests. Officials with oil giant Shell say they hadn’t heard of this method of stealing fuel. Sergeant Speckman says gas station owners can deter theft by changing security codes on the pumps each day. Bob Hensley KXJZ News.