Thieves steal almost 10,000 gallons of gas as police warn about increase in thefts
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5/Gray News) - Police in Las Vegas arrested three men in connection to the theft of almost 10,000 gallons of gas. They are warning residents about an uptick in gas thieves during the summer months.
Gas prices are up more than a $1.50 from this time last year even before the summer travel rush. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department said sky-high prices are motivating thieves.
At a gas station off Interstate 15 and Blue Diamond, the Chevron gas station at Windmill and Las Vegas Boulevard, police reported that a fuel theft ring stole almost 10,000 gallons of gas, KVVU reported.
An employee at another gas station near Harry Reid International Airport noticed that a significant amount of gas was missing and reviewed surveillance video.
They spotted a large white truck at a gas station. Police said Raidel Amador Blanco, Luis Gomez Medero and Javier Ramos Gomez altered the truck which was parked at the pump for two hours.
The same evening, an off-duty officer walking by the Chevron on Las Vegas Boulevard noticed a Dodge Ram that had been parked at the pump nearly four hours.
Detectives stopped the truck and found sophisticated pipes, electric pumps, hoses, and nozzles with fuel bladders hidden in cargo areas.
Thieves are also drilling into gas tanks of individual cars. There have been more than a half a dozen incidents reported in just the last few months.
The cost to fix one small hole in your gas tank can be thousands.
“As gas prices continue to rise over the summer months, thieves are going to try and steal your liquid gold,” the department said in a statement.
Police said if you notice your car won’t run, look for small holes in your gas tank made by power tools.
Also, pay attention to the smell of gas when approaching your vehicle or liquid puddles underneath.
To help prevent theft, park in a covered or well-lit area and avoid public parking for extended periods of time.
The LVMPD Financial Crime section has been investigating fuel thefts that have been occurring all around the Las Vegas valley.
Metro said these types of crimes occur around the clock and often in plain sight. Call police or advise gas station employees if you see a gas crime happening.
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