Gas Drive-offs on the Rise

4-1-05 – Lawmakers are working to crack down on the number of gas drive-offs. Authorities say the rising gas prices are fueling an increase people who fill up, then run off.

Dianna Howard – an employee at Kwik-Check agrees, “We’ve had quite a few since the gas has gone up. The more the gas goes up, the more people drive off.”

The Oklahoma Senate passed a bill, Thursday, raising the fines for drive-offs from $100 to $500.

Law enforcement and law makers hope this move will deter thieves in the future.

“The legislature is going to have to do something about it and this looks like the most appropriate thing they could do,” said Captain Steve Pelto of the Bryan County Sheriff’s Office.

Last year out of over 14,000 reported drive-offs, only 48 were prosecuted – costing tax payers over $200,000.

In Texas, the penalty for gas drive offs is a fine of up to $500.