A family-owned gas station in Texas realized they were robbed of over 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel by thieves who used a “trap door.”
Jerry Thayil, the manager at Fuqua Express gas station in southwest Houston, told ABC 13 he was taking the daily inventory from the gas station’s underground fuel tanks last week and realized the numbers were off.
“The first day, I saw there was 360 gallons that was missing. Then the next day, same thing, so we started looking at the cameras,” Thayil told the outlet.
After checking the camera, he noticed a van driving over the container lids, but no one gets out of the vehicle.
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“They have a trap door inside their vehicle which is crazy. They have to have another man inside (the vehicle) to open our fuel tank, stick a hose in there,” he said.
They also believed a Porche SUV was in on the scheme and looking out for the thieves while sitting at a gas pump.
On the fourth attempt last Friday, Thayil said he chased the van away.
“I didn’t want to just let them hit us again and lose another $1,200, $1,300,” he told CNN. “We’re a family-owned business, so every penny counts around here.”
In total, he said the business lost between $5,000 and $6,000 worth of fuel.
The Houston Police Department told USA TODAY it is investigating the incident and found two reports of similar gas thefts in the area within the last six months.
At this time it is not known if the incidents are related and no further information is available.
Thayil told CNN the business is in talks with its insurance company to see if the thefts are covered.
Follow reporter Asha Gilbert @Coastalasha. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.