APOLLO BEACH, Fla. (CW44 News At 10) – Six people are behind bars, after Hillsborough County Sheriff’s officers say they stole $60,000 worth of gas from two local gas stations.
Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister says each time the men showed up at the pump, they spent 12 hours there with no one noticing.
“It’s almost like stealing gold I guess,” said Tampa Bay resident, Arthur Hilts.
With rising gas prices across the United States, Arthur Hilts, was shocked to learn a group of men stole $60,000 worth of gas from two local gas stations.
“It’s pretty wild that someone would steal that much gas and no one saw them or stopped them,” said Hilts.
Hillsborough County Sheriff, Chad Chronister says detectives received a call at the end of February, reporting a significant amount of gas missing from two Circle-K’s after employees did a fuel check.
“At least $60,000 within seven different times, that these suspects, these individuals have victimized these two different stores,” said Sheriff Chronister.
He says the men would remove the pulsar device, which calculates how much it would cost for the amount of gas dispersed. They would then fill huge tanks up with fuel, spending up to 12 hours a day at a pump.
“That’s insane. And having nobody notice what happened over there over how long? 12 hours? It makes no sense,” Tampa Bay resident, Rafy Valez.
Officials say employees didn’t notice for several days.
“We all have the same question…’Why weren’t these employees being a little more diligent?’” said Sheriff Chronister.
Sheriff Chronister says the men would then sell the gas for up to three dollars a gallon
“Here in the Tampa Bay, we will be paying higher fuel prices because these thieves saw an opportunity to take advantage of others during a time where we are already feeling the financial pain,” said Chronister.
Officials say those six men were arrested on March 30. Resident, Rafy Valez, pays around $50 to fill up his tank, and he says it’s disappointing to know people would steal from others who are struggling already.
“If you got caught doing something wrong, you deserve that. Don’t blame anyone, don’t blame the high prices of gas. You had to option to make a decision and you made the wrong one,” said Valez.
Officials say if you notice anything suspicious happening at a gas station, contact the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office immediately.