Gas Station Drive-Offs Growing More Common

By: Lauren Zakalik Email
By: Lauren Zakalik Email

High gas prices drive people to do a lot of things: groan, gimace-- even carpool. But none are so offensive or illegal as driving off without paying for petrol.

Admiral gas station attendant Shawna Brubaker is seeing people drive off without paying for their gas a few times a week. "Five or ten times, sometimes more, sometimes less," she says.

A lack of surveillance cameras at her station and a jump in gas prices are making her job difficult and costly. She and her co-workers often end up paying for the stolen gas out of their own pockets

Sgt. Tim O'Neill from the Ingham County Sheriff's Office says high has prices often create pandamonium at the pumps-- and he says it's bound to get worse this summer, as gas prices traditionally rise during the warm travel months.

"It'll cause us an issue. When gas gets higher, people seem to see if they can get away with a deal," he says.

But that "deal" may bring thieves another "deal"-- one they didn't necessarily bargain for.

"It's a misdemeanor with a potential for 93 days in jail," O'Neill says. "If you're convicted of a drive-off, you could lose your license."


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