Entries in Siphoning (2)


Alleged Gas Thief Catches Fire, Crashes Truck

Mitch Drum/ABC News(MESA, Ariz.) -- A man has been hospitalized in Mesa, Ariz., after he caught fire and the truck he was driving crashed into a home as he fled from allegedly siphoning gas from someone’s car, police said.

Surveillance footage taken by Mitch Drum apparently shows Herbert C. Ridge, 38, rolling on the ground trying to extinguish flames that had engulfed his shirt. Seconds earlier, the video appears to show Ridge leaping from the driver’s seat of the truck as it crashes into Drum’s neighbor’s home.

“I heard a boom outside my house, so I ran out and saw the truck on fire with the guy running away,” Drum, 26, told ABC News. "I ran off after him but I didn’t want to go physical, because who knows what he might be on.”


Drum said Ridge told him that his Ford F150 had caught fire while he was driving it.

“He had a broken arm, you could see it bulging and a lot of smoke residue. I could see the smoke on him, gashes, arms broken, he was just mangled up,” Drum said.

While Drum called 911, the man ran off toward another neighbor’s house.

“He had this manufactured siphoning system that he made himself, with a pump hooked up to it, to a battery,” he said. “Something must have sparked.”

“We were able to figure out what happened while they were working the call,” Sgt. Tony Landato told ABC News. “Within an hour of the call coming out, we had him identified.”

Police said that the home that was struck was unoccupied when it was hit with the allegedly stolen truck. Ridge is still in the hospital and is expected to survive his injuries.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


$4,500 in Gas Siphoned in Latest California Pump Heist

Jupiterimages/Thinkstock(ROSEVILLE, Calif.) -- With the price of gas in California reaching record highs, thieves are increasingly targeting gas tanks with the most recent heist siphoning more than $4,500 from a gas station over a span of three days.

Police in Roseville, Calif., have arrested a man for allegedly stealing more than 1,100 gallons of gas from a Shell station four times in three days starting on Sept. 27.

Roseville police told ABC News that a male suspect is in custody, but they are still looking for a female suspect who they’ve identified.  The truck was located and recovered by police with 110 gallons of gas on board.  The gas has since been turned over to the station’s manager, Tony Sandhu.

Sandhu told ABC News affiliate KABC-TV on Saturday that the thieves rolled up to the station in a pickup truck and managed to bypass the pay-at-the-pump meter on Sept. 27.  The thieves pumped 300 gallons of gas into a tank that was located in the back of the truck around 1:30 a.m., according to police.  The station was closed at the time and it’s not clear how the thieves turned on the pump.

“I don’t know if we can recover that money or not, but at least those people should go to jail,” said Sandhu.

Police believe thieves came back twice the next day while the station was closed and drove off with hundreds of gallons of gas.  Then, they came back the following day during store hours to steal even more.

Sandhu told KABC that security cameras caught the thieves siphoning the gas and when they returned during business hours, a cashier recognized the truck and took down the license plate.

“It actually brought it to the attention of the owner because he was short on his tallies for his amount of gas,” said Lt. Cal Walstad of the Roseville Police Department.

In all, the thieves managed to get away with 1,153 gallons of the liquid gold, according to police.

The price of gas hit an all-time average high in California on Sunday, costing drivers $4.70 a gallon, up 53 cents from last week’s average.

Recent refinery fires in the state and pipeline problems are the culprits behind the high prices that are causing California reserves to hit a 10-year low.

Analysts predict that relief is in sight and prices will bottom out near $3.50 a gallon by Thanksgiving, which is one of the busiest times for traveling.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

ABC News Radio