South Georgia stores warned about diesel fuel thefts

South Georgia stores warned about diesel fuel thefts

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Police are warning store owners in south Georgia to be on the lookout for diesel thieves.

The owners of one store in Dougherty County are hoping you can help identify the thief who stole more than $500 worth of diesel fuel.

Dougherty County Police says this is the second time in two months that thiefs have siphoned fuel out of store's underground tanks.  They want South Georgia stores to be aware.

Take a look at this surveillance video from the Roadrunner on Sylvester Road. After casing the store, that white semi truck stops over the underground diesel tanks, breaks the lock, and then steals enough to fill his truck tanks.

Roadrunner Store Manager Sunny Patel said "They siphoned out in about 20 minutes almost 180 gallons."

That's more than 500 dollars worth of fuel that the Patel family paid for.

Patel said "You got to be one cold hearted person to even steal from anybody.  Especially $500 in one night."

The truck is pulling a 20 foot long flatbed trailer.  Dougherty County Police say this is the second time in recent months at stores in this county. September 26th Abbott's on Old Pretoria Road had 600 gallons of diesel fuel stolen from their tanks. Investigators say this is a nationwide crime issue that continues on.

Dougherty County Police Lt. Chad Kirkpatrick said "We have arrested someone several years ago where they had like a homemade pump, and he had a big tank in the back of his truck.  And he would just drive over the gas tank and drop the hose down there and siphon the gas into his tank in the back of his truck."

Now the Patel family is increasing security over their tanks.

Patel said "We're going to put a couple of cameras up, and turn on more lights. Just do the best we can."

And they are asking if anyone knows anything about that truck, to let the police know,  And stop this thief from taking hundreds more dollars of fuel.

If you recognize that truck or have any information about these fuel thefts, you could earn a reward. Call CRIMESTOPPERS at 436-TIPS.

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