Police Report More Gas Thefts - KMOT.COM - Minot, ND - News, Weather, Sports

Police Report More Gas Thefts

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There are various crimes that happen in Williston, and gas drive offs have been on the rise. 

The Williston police department says they would get one to two complaints a month a couple years ago. Now, they are receiving three to four complaints a week.

"People are pumping fuel and leaving without paying for it." says detective David Peterson. "Even at some of the locations. We have seen identification and vehicle information from surveillance systems at our local convenient stores." 

Peterson has seen the amount of gas drive offs increase. A lot of stations that had pump before you pay, didn't have surveillance systems before the influx of people.

Since the thefts have went up it has caused more gas stations to install these surveillance systems to keep an eye on what is going on.

"We used to worry people would drive off," says Scenic Sports owner Andy Anderson. "But, we had a pretty honest bunch, and nobody that was in a real financial bind. Like all crime in this area, we've had more problems with crime of all different types."

The owner of Scenic Sports Andy Anderson is one of those owners who saw the amount of gas drive offs at his store increase. So, he decided to install his own surveillance system. The cameras can zoom in, and now he can see license plate numbers and employees can talk to people at the pumps.

"A combination of good cameras, lighting and of course having the pumps laid out properly," says Anderson. "And then training the help to watch for the characteristics of somebody who may drive off. Reminding people did you have fuel is also important, and that they can face some pretty stiff consequences if they don't pay."

Anderson says since he installed the new surveillance system, the amount of drive offs have went down because people now know they are being watched.

Peterson says that the penalty for stealing gas is a three to six month license suspension.

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