Sheriff's Office fields gas price complaints - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Sheriff's Office fields gas price complaints

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By Christian Jennings - bio | email

August 8, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - The fact that gas prices are higher in Albany than other South Georgia cities has prompted a lot of complaints.The Dougherty County Sheriff's office says people are calling them for help, but there's really nothing they can do.

People in Albany are fed up. The Dougherty County Sheriff's Office has been flooded with complaints. People want the prices down. And here's why. Take a look Friday's average gas prices:

Albany: $3.83, Tifton: $3.68, Warwick: $3.74, Camilla: $3.78, Cordele: $3.71

Albany's average is $3.83. Now take a look the other four cities all within thirty to forty minutes driving distance. Almost twenty cents lower in Tifton, around ten cents lower in Warwick and Cordele, and five cents lower in Camilla.

"Sheriff Saba basically ordered me to contact the state officials and find out if there was anything we could do and if there was any recourse involved in the situation," says Captain Craig Dodd with the Dougherty County Sheriff's Office.

After Hurricane Katrina hit Albany gas stations were accused of gouging gas prices. The Sheriff's department had investigators check out the situation. Several chains were fined. Now, it's a different story.

"We have checked into it. We were not able to do anything about it under these circumstances," Dodd says.  

The law states that when in a state of emergency, gas gouging is illegal. But if there's not a state of emergency, then legally, it's not gouging.

"What people need to do basically is shop around and find the best prices if you stop going to the places with the really high prices, they're going to have to bring their prices down," says Dodd. 

 Advice sometimes easier said than done. For now, Albany residents will just have to keep on pouring their money into the pumps. 

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