U.S. Gasoline Theft on the Rise

Its already beginning.

Motorists, are resorting increasingly to theft to combat high gas prices – a trend that may very well worsen if things do not change, especially with the summer driving season coming up.

 “It is getting bad. When the price of gasoline goes up, the number of drive-offs goes up,” said Dan Gilligan, president of the Petroleum Marketers Association of America, which represents about 8,000 retailers. A drive-off is when motorist pulls up to a gas station’s pump, fills the car’s tank, and then speeds off without paying for the fuel.

U.S. gasoline prices are marching toward $4.00 per gallon on average, and in many areas like my hometown of Buffalo, N.Y., they’re already there. this is 25 percent higher than a year ago at this time. 

Energy experts, and a recent New York Times article, have said oil could hit $200.00 per barrel, and gasoline topping $6.00 a gallon in the near future.  

Gilligan said that some state fuel dealer associations were pressing lawmakers to make it easier to prosecute people who fill up and then drive off without paying. “The last time we had a spike up in gasoline, lots of retailers switched to requiring payment before fill-up,” said Gilligan. “But many retailers still want to preserve the trust relationship they have with their customers.”

CNN video of gas theft here

Read the Reuters story here

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