Thieves got away with over a thousand gallons of diesel from a gas station in Houston, Texas, according to the store’s assistant manager Tuesday.
Maurice Castro, the assistant manager at Fuqua Express gas station in southwest Houston, said thieves used several minivans to steal diesel through trap doors. It cost the store just over $5,000, Castro said.
Manager Jerry Thayil checked the inventory on March 9 and then asked Castro if he knew anything about 350 to 360 gallons of missing diesel. Castro said he did not.
“He checked the report again and still couldn’t find what was wrong,” Castro said. “Thursday morning, he said the same thing, that we’re missing 350 to 360 gallons.”
“Thayil checked the cameras for Wednesday’s footage and in the surveillance video, you can see a minivan that pulls up right over the underground fuel tank,” Castro said. “The minivan stays for about 15 to 20 minutes. He then looks at the report and it’s around that time that fuel went missing.”
“On Thursday, he tracked it and the same minivan pulled up at 6 a.m,” Castro added. “No one gets out of the van and the fuel is missing at that time.”
Castro verified that on Wednesday, the minivan arrived at around 5 a.m. Both times, the maroon minivan was accompanied by a black Lexus. Because it was dark and the thieves did not step outside of the van, Castro could not provide a description of the thieves.
“There is like a trap door under the minivan where someone opens the door from the minivan, removes the lid, and connects their own hose and pump to hook up fuel from there,” Castro said.
Subsequently, Thayil told staff to stay on the lookout, by taking pictures, calling the police, and telling the suspected thieves to leave.
“Friday morning, nothing happened,” Castro said. “Around noon, maybe 2 p.m., another van pulls up. The manager is in the office. I’m outside getting stuff for the car and as I’m walking in, the manager opens the door and tells me to come with him.” The minivan on Friday was dark blue, but this time it was accompanied by a black Porsche. Castro said he got a better glimpse of the perpetrator who he described as light skinned.
Thayil chased the perpetrators away while Castro took pictures. They called the Houston Police Department, who said there had been a report of a similar incident with a blue car and that it’d be “a matter of time” before the thieves were caught.