All is quiet at the Raceway gas station off Interstate 95 in Roanoke Rapids.
A sign on the door reads "closed;" another, "for lease."
But less than a month ago, the business was bustling with customers stopping by for a deal – gasoline for under $3 a gallon, authorities say.
But Roanoke Rapids police say it was part of an alleged scam for store owner Shakeel Khan, 30, to pocket nearly $290,000.
"We believe Mr. Khan has pocketed that money and has fled the area," said Roanoke Rapids police Chief Jeff Hinton.
Police say Khan damaged the computer equipment so his corporate home office, Racetrac Petroleum, could not track his sales.
The office contacted local authorities when it became clear to officials there they couldn't track sales.
For five days, at the end of May, Khan, whose only known address was near Washington D.C., allegedly pocketed all the profits without paying for his gasoline, investigators said.
He is now missing, and police believe he might have fled the country. His name has been entered in a national crime database. If he is arrested, Kahn could face a list of fraud charges.
"We do believe that, eventually, he will be caught," Hinton said.
The case is under investigation, and authorities said there could be more suspects.