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Have you ever been pumping gas in your big SUV or truck while praying that the total doesn’t get too high? Then there’s a photo of Willie Nelson on your receipt? You aren’t alone in this battle. Gas is expensive, and prices are so high that gas theft is on the rise. 

Gas theft is a nationwide issue 

Would you buy black market gas if it meant you could fill up for cheaper? This is a real possibility and people are willing to pay for stolen gas as gas theft is on the rise. 

But how are people stealing gas? One heist method is actually pretty interesting and allows people to get away with about 500 gallons at a time. 

People are using vans to drive up over the drop tubes, which is where the underground storage tanks are located. It’s also where fuel tankers make their deliveries. 

The truck driver pulls up, takes the lid cover off, and connects his hoses to the fuel line and his trailer to deliver fuel. 

The thieves can pull up with a false door and connect their tubes to the fuel line and can suck up hundreds of gallons of fuel. This method has an elaborate setup with modified pumps in the van interior. But it allows people to quickly fill multiple barrels with fuel. 

It’s had to catch these fuel thieves but tight monitors are used in a majority of gas stations to monitor gas usage. If gas comes out of the ground at a faster rate than the pumps then an alarm should go off. 

It displays how much fuel is delivered and how much is missing. If a gas station says its delivery was 500 gallons short, you can see what time the fuel delivery was made. You can also see what time the gas was stolen. 

This helps fuel tankers verify their delivery and allows you to pinpoint the time of gas theft. Then store owners can cross reference the time of theft with their security footage to see what the culprits are driving. 

But if the alarm goes off, the clerk is notified of the problem and can look and see if a vehicle is parked over the drop tubes. 

Gas theft and fuel deliveries both typically occur in the middle of the night, so the activities may easily occur without notice. However, it’s a significant source of frustration for store owners and fuel delivery companies.