With the average retail gas price nearing record levels, some less-than-scrupulous people have begun to tinker with gas station pumps to hide the fact that they are stealing thousands of dollars worth of fuel.
It’s not some elaborate hacking of the pump’s electronics that allows the scammers to fill up on the cheap. Instead, they are simply prying open the covers of older machines with a screwdriver and tampering with a cog, effectively allowing the gas to flow without being metered.
“For five dollars, he’s getting 20 to 25 dollars worth of gas,” one Atlanta-area gas station owner tells Channel 2 Action News. He claims to have lost $12,000 in a single day at one location. After all, every person who pulls up to that damaged pump is paying pennies on the dollar to fill up their tank — at least until someone figures out the machine has been rigged.
The owner explains that it can be very difficult to notice the problem until after people have driven off with a lot of gratis gasoline. He and other owners with the older pumps have begun installing braces in an effort to prevent screwdriver-wielding gas thieves.
Thieves tamper with pumps to steal gas [AJC.com]