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Caught Red-Handed: Man Fuels Up Gas Tank as Another Driver Foots the Bill in Latest Scheme

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CCTV footage from an AMPM gas station in Roseville, California, caught an elaborate gas theft scheme on camera.

The Roseville City Police Department warns that as gas prices in California remain high, similar thefts are likely to occur, KXTV-TV reported.

The video shared by KXTV showed the suspect driving into the gas station and getting out of his vehicle near the gas pumps.

The man then switched the gas nozzles so that the one from the gas pump on the other side was pumping into his car while the nozzle from his side would be inserted into the other vehicle.

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The suspect then waited until another motorist entered the gas station to refill his tank.

Little did the unsuspecting driver, who drove in a few minutes later, know that the fuel pumping from the pump on his side was going to the suspect’s vehicle on the other side.

Once the other driver left, the suspect put the pump back into its original place and left.

“We’ve seen a few cases historically where this has worked and we have been able to fortunately catch people,” Roseville Police representative Rob Baquera told KXTV.

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According to the news station, police arrested a man in 2019 for carrying out a similar theft in the city.

Baquera told KXTV that the increase in such thefts could be related to the rise in fuel prices.

Thieves have been stealing “[e]ither through your gas cap, or potentially cutting a hole in your gas tank to drain that fuel out,” Baquera said, according to the news station.

“Criminals have gotten smart by disguising their vehicles or using mechanisms where they’re not easily traceable,” Baquera told KTXL-TV.

According to AAA data, average gasoline prices in California remain the highest in the nation at around $5.921 per gallon as of Saturday.

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The national average gas price, according to AAA data, is $4.53, with the price falling in the last few weeks. However, the national average remains higher than the numbers a year ago.

In June, when prices were even higher than those on Saturday, California lawmakers saw it fit to add to the burden of motorists in the state by slapping an additional 3 cents per gallon to the state’s already high gas tax, KNTV-TV reported.

With gas prices remaining high and people stealing fuel from their fellow citizens, residents in Roseville have been upset.

“It’s just a weak move, you know. It makes me upset. I feel bad for the person that got taken advantage of. But, you know, karma comes,” Roseville resident Brad Osterhout said, according to KTXL.

“I hate it when anybody tries to rip off my customers. Like this is our business. We have to look out for them as well,” Christopher Torscher, the gas station’s assistant manager, said, according to KTXL.

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

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