Thieves allegedly hacked a gas pump to sell fuel at a discount
According to police in Virginia Beach, Va., two men stole fuel from a Citgo gas station, reselling it at a discount through a phone app. Police responded to a call about “suspicious activity” at the gas station on Tuesday, June 14.
At the time of the call, the station was closed and officers saw several “vehicles and individuals congregating” at the site, “pumping gasoline” on a large scale. Those details were clarified in the Virginia Beach Police Department press release. Additionally, the department wrote about how officers discovered during a preliminary investigation that certain devices were being used to “illegally gain access to gas pumps.”
Police say the male couple sold the fuel at a significantly reduced price through an app, advertising the “operation on social media”. Additionally, they wrote that thousands of dollars worth of fuel had clearly been stolen from the Citgo station over a number of days.
The men, Deven Drumgoole, 21, and Rashsane Griffith, 24, both of Norfolk, Virginia, have been arrested in connection with the incident. According to reports, they were apprehended for possession of burglary tools, conspiracy and robbery. According to Virginia Beach Police Lt. Brad Wesseler, the station owner noticed the gas was missing, but was unsure of the cause.
“Everything on his side seemed normal. So there was nothing obvious that gas was being taken,” Wesseler said.
In the press release, the police department said it would continue to investigate the case. Additionally, they wrote that gas stations closing overnight “should review security camera footage” from the previous week to ensure they were not in a similar situation.
Furthermore, they went on to suggest that these companies should “take extra precautions” to ensure that such an incident does not happen again in the future. Notably, this scene in Virginia comes as police reported gasoline thefts in the United States amid rising fuel prices. Two months ago, law enforcement officials reported more than $140,000 in gas thefts across the United States.
Similarly, in Florida, officials said the thieves allegedly used a “homemade device” to steal $60,000 worth of fuel from two different gas stations. Additionally, Utah saw such an incident this week where an alleged thief was caught on surveillance video setting himself on fire. Apparently this was following him using a drill to try to siphon gasoline from a truck.