Skip to comments.Man steals large amounts of fuel in broad daylight
Posted on 10/18/2007 12:16:42 PM PDT by shooter223
Polk County, Florida More charges are expected after deputies caught a Winter Haven man siphoning more than 923 gallons of fuel from underground tanks at gas stations in Pasco and Polk counties.
70-year-old Hobert Gibson was arrested Tuesday and charged with two counts of grand theft.
Over the last ten months, Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd suspects Gibson has stolen 3,000 to 10,000 gallons of fuel each week. But so far, only one gas station has come forward.
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Your local gas station makes about 3¢ per gallon.
Use a pump. Siphon is to “suck.” A pump sucks and then pushes.
BTW - 3,000 USG of gasoline = about 24,000 lbs. or 12 tons. I think he may have been taking less at a time.
Thats an easy one. Youre talking about gas stations and convenience stores. The only person that cares is the owner. The hired help only care that the till doesnt come up short (if they even care about that) and that they dont get caught lifting cigarettes or beer.
Owner comes up missing fuel that didnt get pumped through the pump meters and his first assumption is that the tanks are leaking. Leaking tanks are a big deal. If a station owner really has leaking tanks hed probably rather quietly/quickly unload the joint on someone else and let them deal with it (if possible usually theyll test tanks and ground for contamination before a sale).
There was a similar scheme in the Austin area a little over a year ago.
A guy would find a closed gas station or one with just a teenager manning the register and proceed to park his truck next to the gas tanks. He would then open the tanks and start pumping. However, while he was doing that he started up a pressure washer and started washing the station’s parking lot.
If I recall correctly, he was caught when an owner of a closed station drove by and saw him washing his lot. He had probably stolen from more than a dozen stations before he was caught.
On a per gallon basis gasoline is the second cheapest liquid you can buy.
Tap water is the first.
The trailer sat low to the ground, making it difficult even for trained law enforcement to see how Gibson did it.
There was a guy in Las Vegas who collected dry cleaning fuild for ‘diposal’ - and then later mix it into the cheap gas that was sold locally.
He was found out when his tranfer tank setup caught fire - visible to most of the valley. Located in the - then desert - area across from Nellis AFB Area III.
And gas was less than a dollar then (sigh)
Not as elegant as my scheme in post 7...
Saw this on last night's news. He had a large closed trailer with a BIG tank in it and a hole in the floor. He had an electric pump driven by marine batteries.
He'd pull into a station and park the trailer over the fill pipe for the tanks and start pumping.
The story said they have store surveillance video of him chatting with a state trooper while he was pumping the fuel from the tank
We had a case here in GA back in the 70s where just about the entire government of a small Georgia town was stealing gasoline from the interstate pipeline and selling it on the sly.
There was a book out - The Trial of the Tallapoosa Twenty - vanity press, cheap paperback, badly written (and absolutely the worst photo of the U.S. Attorney you could imagine on the back cover), but it tells the whole story. If you can find a copy.
Friend of mine lived in Tallapoosa at the time. It was quite a scandal and nine days wonder when basically the entire city government went off to federal prison . . . .
The 3,000 - 10,000 gal. are estimates of what he stole per week. So all he needs is a 500gal tank in his tralier.
“I’m old! I was confused!”
It's a start...
He must have had a kick ass pump.
Think about the lift, head pressure, and rate of flow that you would want to transfer any large amount of fuel out from an underground tank.
My first thought was that he had a fuel tanker truck that he would drive up with when the station closed and pretend to pump fuel in.
Thanks for the heads up.
Yeah, it’s a real steal. In this case, literally.
I think everyone’s lucky he didn’t blow himself, the station and part of the neighborhood to smithereens!
Oh...I don't think so. I used to work as a test engineer for a company that made municipal sewerage processing equipment. At some point in the development process it was necessary to test new designs with raw sewerage. You guessed it, we would have to pay a septic tank pumper to drive his "honey wagon" down to our local sewerage processing plant and bring back a couple thousand gallons. Since we payed him about $100 per trip that works out to about a nickel a gallon.
Since the stuff he brought back was technically not "raw", having been in transit through the underground conduits for three days or more and had begun the anaerobic digestion process, it was necessary to develop other sources. We finally built an "outhouse" with a flush toilet, magazine rack, electric lights and a locking door. It was actually the only two story outhouse I've ever seen. The plumbing below was connected to a heavy duty garbage disposal unit which discharged into a fifteen gallon carboy. The drill went like this: Close door, do your thing for science, flip on the grinder, flush. Do to the limited storage it was necessary to keep an eye on the carboy and change them out as needed, hence the lock on the door! Imagine the look on the technician's face (who forgot to lock up) as he was switching the hose from a nearly full carboy to an empty when he heard the whirr of the grinder and almost simultaneously the gurgle of the flush.
Our motto was: "It may be S#!t to you, but it's our bread and butter!" I Still think of that incident every time I hear "What can Brown do for you?"