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Return of the gasoline thieves

It looks like President Obama has finally managed to “create or save” some “shovel-ready” jobs, because his soaring gas prices have inspired the return of gasoline thieves in a big way.  In Citrus Park, near Tampa, Florida, thieves tried to loot the diesel fuel inside a BP gas station, and ended up spilling 25 gallons of black gold into the parking lot, as reported by Tampa Bay Online:

Just after 1 a.m., a deputy noticed a van parked at an odd angle in the BP parking lot and made a U-turn to investigate, sheriff’s Capt. Andy Ross said. The van was parked over an in-ground fuel tank.

The inside of the van had been stripped, Ross said, and a large plastic bladder tank capable of holding several hundred gallons was installed. A hole was cut into the floor, and a hose reached down into the pipe that leads to the underground tanks. A pump – hooked to a series of car batteries inside the van – hummed and pumped gas from the ground tank into the tank in the cargo area of the van.

Ross said the gas thieves were sitting in a car on the other side of the parking lot while the pump ran. When the deputy drove by and turned around, the car left.

As the deputy approached the van, the tank inside began overflowing and the diesel fuel began to spill onto the parking lot. Fire rescue and a hazardous materials team arrived to break into the van and shut down the pump, Ross said.

Ross went on to say that gasoline theft “was widespread a couple of years ago, and then it went away.  Now, it’s on the upswing again.”

A bit further south, in Hendry County, the gasoline thieves are more sophisticated.  From a report by Southwest Florida CBS affiliate WINK:

Thieves are finding ways around paying for the high price of fuel.  They’re using the internet to steal diesel.  WINK News has learned crooks are using satellite images to find out who is storing diesel fuel in tanks and where.
Gene McAvoy is the extension director for Hendry County.  He works with farmers and says they’re well aware diesel fuel prices are high along with the demand.

“For the last few years, we’ve been experiencing an uprise in the theft of diesel fuel and other agricultural chemicals,” said McAvoy.

Last week, gas bandits struck a farm in Clewiston, stealing 500 gallons of fuel.  Thieves are beginning to use satellites in space to do it.

“Actually using satellite maps to locate buildings and structures on the farm where the chemicals or the fuel would be stored,” said McAvoy.

As the WINK report goes on to note, there isn’t much farmers can do about this, beyond camouflaging their gasoline depots from orbital detection, in the manner of SCUD missile launchers.  “With prices continuing to climb with no relief in sight,” the report advises, “lock things up and always call police if you see anything suspicious.”

But don’t bother calling anyone about those suspicious climbing prices.  That’s deliberate Obama Administration policy, working exactly the way it’s supposed to.  Don’t worry – once President Obama’s wondrous algae-based fuel refineries come online, instead of worrying about scum stealing your gasoline, you’ll be gassing up your car with scum.

Written By

John Hayward began his blogging career as a guest writer at Hot Air under the pen name "Doctor Zero," producing a collection of essays entitled Doctor Zero: Year One. He is a great admirer of free-market thinkers such as Arthur Laffer, Milton Friedman, and Thomas Sowell. He writes both political and cultural commentary, including book and movie reviews. An avid fan of horror and fantasy fiction, he has produced an e-book collection of short horror stories entitled Persistent Dread. John is a former staff writer for Human Events. He is a regular guest on the Rusty Humphries radio show, and has appeared on numerous other local and national radio programs, including G. Gordon Liddy, BattleLine, and Dennis Miller.

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