A family-owned gas station in Houston, Texas was robbed of nearly $5,000 worth of gas after a group of thieves stole more than 1,000 gallons of fuel last week. A rising new trend in a series of bold daylight thefts as Americans are becoming increasingly desperate for cheap fuel.

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Gas prices have been rising steadily since Russian forces invaded Ukraine on February 24, with prices averaging $4.325 for a gallon of regular on Monday.

Some thieves have begun drilling holes into gas tanks, crawling under cars to drill the holes and catch the fuel before it hits the ground.
One group of thieves were caught at a family-owned gas station in Houston, Texas, where they used a ‘trap door in their vehicle’ to access a locked manhole cover and ultimately suck out the gasoline stored in underground tankards.


‘The way they did it was very sneaky,’ Jerry Thayil, who caught them in action on surveillance footage, told KHOU.

Thayil’s family owns the Fuqua Express gas station in Houston, where gas prices are averaging $3.978 and diesel prices cost an average of $4.834, according to AAA. He said a group of thieves hit his Chevron station three times last week and tried for a fourth.

They ultimately caught onto the act after noticing a deficiency in his stores of about ‘350 gallons of diesel per day for three days in a row.

At that point, he said, he began combing through the surveillance footage, and noticed a green van ‘just parked out there.’

‘Each time they were there about 15 to 20 minutes…in a high traffic time.’

He later realized that a black SUV was playing lookout to aid in the crime.

In total, Thayil said, the thieves stole over 1,000 gallons of gas, explaining: ‘We had locks on our fill caps. Still, they were coming in and … I think they were locking it with their own locks.’

‘They were doing it in front of so many people – so many different customers.’
Watch the video below.