GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — Police are searching for a person who stole gasoline from U-Haul trucks parked in Greenville.
Greenville police said that someone in a black Lexus convertible stole more than 100 gallons of gas on June 11 and June 16 from several trucks at the U-Haul facility on Keith Drive.
“We’ve had two separate incidents now, where a black convertible is driving up to different U-Hauls trucks and actually siphoning off the gas from several different ones and now it’s over 100 gallons so far, that we know of, that they have taken, and we’re sure there are probably other incidents that they have done this and just haven’t gotten caught,” said Sgt. Jonathan Bragg with the Greenville Police Department.
Investigators said they believe the convertible had a hidden transfer tank in the trunk.
“It was just a small convertible, so it looks like they have something in their trunk that they’re actually taking the gas out of the trucks really quickly, and moving on to another truck,” Bragg said.
According to police, the Lexus lost its front bumper on June 16 and a gray Toyota SUV showed up the next day to get it.
“We’re hoping that will also help someone to maybe recognize them or maybe they know who owns those two types of cars,” Bragg said.
Lucas Berning works across the parking lot at Mack Pest Solutions.
“It’s wildly unfortunate,” Berning said. “It’s a question of what the heck are you going to do with it.”
“I’m sure this is – definitely got something to do with the gas prices at this point,” Bragg said. “I’m not sure if they are selling or if they are using it for personal use. It’s a lot of gas, so I would assume they’re probably profiting off of it.”
Across the street from U-Haul, a manager at United Refrigeration said they are now discussing putting up more safety measures.
“Nothing has been planned right now, but we’ve discussed it,” said United Refrigeration branch manager Mike Keeler.
Keeler said they have been victimized in the past too.
“I mean I’ve actually had my building shot up before. It’s been a few years ago, back before we put this addition here,” Keeler said. “I come in and we had about 20 rounds. It just lined the whole building. Some went completely through the building and that was from what we discussed earlier, when they park over here at night from the local bars that are around.”
As police want people to be on the lookout for the two vehicles, they also have a message for all business owners.
“Just make sure that you are keeping an eye out on your parking lot,” Bragg said. “If you have a gate, close them at night when there’s no one there.”
Bragg also encouraged businesses to have cameras.
He also had a message to people who think it’s okay to steal.
“Gas prices are high and we definitely know that, but it’s still not fair for you to take the gas from somebody else that paid for it. Times are tough right now, but reach out for assistance. Don’t steal gas. Don’t steal from other people, because you don’t know how hard they had to work to get to that gas in their cars,” Bragg said.
Bragg said investigators are still trying to figure out how much gas was stolen from the last incident.
He said the suspect could face petit larceny or grand larceny charges, depending on how much gas was stolen.
Anyone with information on the people involved should call Crime Stoppers at 864-23-CRIME.