Like prices, gas drive-offs on the rise

By: Stephanie Brletic Email
By: Stephanie Brletic Email

DURANT, Okla. -- We've all been affected by high gas prices one way or another as the prices just keep going up and up. Apparently some drivers think those prices are high enough to risk prosecution.

Some gas station employees in Oklahoma said Friday they have a problem with people pumping and running. Others say they changed their service to pay at the pump or pre-pay to avoid being stuck with the tab.

Gas station employee Lori Coon says most customers are good people, and that's why her boss still allows people to pay after they pump.

"You’d think that would raise the chances, but I don't think it has because we have a lot of honest people that come here that pump on a daily basis," Coon says.

But not everyone is honest, and some people will go to any length to avoid paying high gas prices, even if that means sticking gas station owners with the tab.

Coon says earlier this week a few guys stole gas from the station, using distraction to make their move.

"The lines are here and these guys kept coming over here, using the restroom, bought beer, went outside, came back in, bought ice. They just pretty much kept pulling me, distracting me, making sure I was busy, I guess, and went out and got gas and left."

Durant assistant police chief Greg Pollock says there are about one or two drive-offs each week, but says most thieves use the same tactics like distraction.

"Usually they do it in a very busy time or maybe somebody looks in and sees that the clerk isn't paying attention, and then they'll drive off."

Pollock says to protect themselves, most gas stations have changed over to a pre-pay system requiring people to pay inside or at the pump before fueling up.

Coon says if pump and runs increase, her boss may be forced to switch to pre-pay service as well.

Pollock says that most gas stations do have surveillance cameras, and even if you're strapped for cash, you better pay for your gas, or you will face a higher price-- like losing your license and theft charges.

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  • by Mark S. Location: Montreal on May 28, 2008 at 10:01 PM
    okay what i don't get is how people aren't caught if there are cameras? and why would they make you prepay at all if they have you on camera, the camera's catch you in the act but that's about it. the gas companies rob us so what are we suppose to do
  • by MR. X Location: TX on Apr 13, 2008 at 07:37 PM
  • by Anonymous on Apr 13, 2008 at 05:08 AM
    I bet they do this so they still have some money left in their beer budget...
  • by mike Location: homeless on Apr 12, 2008 at 08:32 PM
    oklahoma must be the last state in the nation who hasn't enforced a prepay system, what a drag...
  • by Bill Location: oklahoma on Apr 12, 2008 at 06:24 PM
    gas stations in oklahoma has to charge 6 percent over wholesale price, so don't think they're only making a couple cents a gallon
  • by Anonymous on Apr 12, 2008 at 01:47 PM
    Ouch, with gas stations making only a couple cents per gallon sold, I'd hate to think how long it takes them to make back that loss. Why do some of these customers have to be such selfish jerks?
  • by Anonymous on Apr 12, 2008 at 06:50 AM
    Two accused of rustling cattle By Doug Russell News Editor A former Krebs police officer and his father have been charged with stealing cattle. Philip Marlyn Smith, 26, and George W. Smith Jr., 50, pleaded innocent in Pittsburg County District Court Thursday afternoon to two counts of larceny of domestic animals. The two are alleged to have stolen cattle from a ranch on which the father was working in August 2004 and June 2005, according to court records. If convicted, the two men face three to 10 years in prison on each count. According to an affidavit filed in the case, a rancher in the Scipio/Tannehill area suffered a stroke about five years ago and his family hired George Smith to tend the ranch and take care of his cattle. In early 2005, the rancher had recovered enough that he was able to return to the ranch, at which point he noticed that some of the yearling calves on his land had a Circle S brand — not his — and the calves looked like his cattle.
  • by auntie roo Location: the slew on Apr 12, 2008 at 12:17 AM
    Don't they know they will lose their license if they drive off? Oh, I forgot, most don't have a license or insurance unless they are caught. Only the law abiding citizens get to pay the ultimate price to cover the thieves!
  • by Anonymous Location: Sherman on Apr 11, 2008 at 08:08 PM
    You people need to get smart in Oklahoma and don't let people get gas unless the pay first!!
Sherman 4201 Texoma Pkwy (903) 892 -8123 Ardmore 2624 S. Commerce (580) 223-0946
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