DETROIT – Detroit police are trying to determine who managed to hack into a local convenience store’s fueling system and make away with 600 gallons of gas during the middle of the day, reports Detroit’s Fox News station.
The well-planned crime took about 90 minutes from start to finish, and at least 10 vehicles were filled during the $1,800 heist.
According to the clerk on duty at the time of the theft, 10 customers drove into the station and fueled up during the crime. But the in-store fuel monitor was blank the entire time, and the system wouldn't respond to input. All efforts to shut off the pumps from the point of sale failed.
Finally, the clerk used an “emergency kit” to disable the pumps and then notified police, who are still investigating the incident. Authorities suspect the hackers used a remote device to disable the pumps about 1:00 pm, but they aren’t sure if all 10 vehicles were actually part of the gas-napping gang.
“Gas theft tends to increase when prices increase, and while prices are down from their 2018 peak from May, they have slightly increased over the past week,” said Jeff Lenard, vice president of strategic initiatives at NACS. “While theft previously was more likely associated with someone driving off without paying, more sophisticated operations like this one do occur, most in densely populated metropolitan areas and near interstates where there’s a greater anonymity.”
Lenard added that to minimize the likelihood of being targeted, retailers might want to remind their employees to monitor pump activity, especially if it is unusually busy at a specific pump and not others.