Local News

More people are pumping without paying

Posted June 16, 2008 10:16 p.m. EDT
Updated June 16, 2008 11:29 p.m. EDT

— As prices at the pump rise, more people are driving off without paying for gas.

In Raleigh, 58 reports of gas drive-offs were reported this year. In response, a police spokesperson said many gas stations are requiring customers to pay before pumping, but not every station has that technology.

"It (gas) is too high. It's ridiculous,” motorist Ron Miles said.

According to AAA, the average price of gas in Raleigh is $3.99. Last year, at this time, it was $2.95.

“My parents live in Virginia and I used to visit them at least once a month and now it's every six weeks and I try to coax them to come down her to try and save some money," motorist Stephanie Jackson said.

Cary police say a gas drive-off was reported at a Shell Gas station on Chapel Hill Road and at a Citgo station on Harrison Avenue.

After a gas station on Maynard Road was hit several times by people driving off without paying, it started making motorists pay before pumping. A gas station clerk said the company was losing nearly $500 a day from gas drive-offs.

“Not surprised when it hits you – $50, $60 (or) $70 to fill a tank,” motorist Audun Runde said of the spike in drive-offs.

A U-Haul facility on Chatham Street recently discovered empty tanks on trucks that had a full-tank the night before. The owner reported about $150 worth of gas siphoned.

"I can believe it. If you can't pay for it, you got to get it somehow,” motorist Stephanie Jackson said.

"It's leaving people in a bad situation, but that's still not justification for doing that (driving-off)," Miles said.

The U.S. Energy Department said last week that gas prices would likely stay at about $4 per gallon through much of next year.