Drive-offs cost gas stations nationwide millions of dollars - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Drive-offs cost gas stations nationwide millions of dollars

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March 18, 2008

Albany--As gasoline prices continue to sky-rocket, some drivers are resorting to desperate and illegal measures to fuel up.  They're stealing gas.

According to the latest statistics from the National Association of Convenience Store Owners, thieves 122 million dollars in gasoline in 2006.

That cost each of the nation's 115,000 convenience stores slightly more than $1000 dollars.

Because of high gas prices, some drivers believe gas stations are the ones profiting.

However, according to GasTheft.Com, retailers typically make only pennies a gallon on the sale of gasoline.

In fact, they can often make as much, or more, from the sale of a twelve ounce cup of coffee than a twelve gallon fill-up.

"This guy called me up cussing at me for making all this money on fuel, or charging so much, but we're not making anything really," says John Benda, a gas station owner.

In Georgia, if you're caught stealing gas, it is a misdemeanor, punishable by up to sixty days in jail or $100 fine.  Repeat offenders face suspension of drivers license.

To further prevent drive-offs, many gas stations are requiring that drivers actually pay before they pump.  Many gas stations have also installed surveillance cameras near the pumps.

Additional Source: CNN

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