Caught on camera: SW Houston gas station clerk uses stick to confront sneaky diesel thieves

Thursday, June 2, 2022
Clerk confronts diesel thieves who may have hit gas station before
A gas station clerk recognized a van that she believes has been used to take diesel from underground tanks.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A gas station clerk took matters into her own hands Wednesday when she confronted an alleged diesel thief in the parking lot of the Texaco gas station where she works.

Using a stick she found in the store, she says it was the only thing she knew to do to grab their attention, as she beat on the suspects' van.

The gas station located at the intersection of Sam Houston Tollway and Fort Bend Toll Road has been the target of diesel thieves for the last four months, owner Tri Truong says.

According to Truong, his business lost an estimated $20,000 in 12 separate diesel thefts.

Each time, he says the same amount is pumped out of his underground storage tanks: 389 gallons.

Surveillance video from May 27 shows a gold van park over his diesel storage tanks.

He says in 11 minutes, they pumped out 389 gallons.

Then, Wednesday morning, the same van returned and again parked over the underground storage tank.

The driver is seen casually walking into the convenience store, but just as he gets to the cash register, the clerk notices the suspicious van.

Experts have said this type of crime is on the rise as gas and diesel prices rise.

They say the thieves use a trap door in the bottom of the van to pump diesel up and fill cans inside, likely with plans to resell the expensive fuel.

The suspect driver sprinted out of the store during the parking lot confrontation and the gold van was driven away by someone else in the vehicle.

Houston police are now searching for that man, the gold van, and others involved.

SEE ALSO: Fuqua Express gas station manager in SW Houston says thieves stole diesel from underground tanks

With gas prices soaring, fuel is becoming a target of thieves. A manager of a gas station in southwest Houston says his surveillance camera caught the suspects in action.

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