A family-owned gas station in southwest Houston claims alleged thieves stole a total of roughly 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel from the station’s underground fuel storage tanks over three days.
Jerry Thayil, the manager at Fuqua Express gas station, said his family opened the business a few years ago.
This week, Thayil said that while taking daily inventory checks on the gas station’s underground fuel storage tanks, he noticed something was not adding up.
“The first day, I saw there was 360 gallons that was missing. Then the next day, same thing, so we started looking at the cameras,” he said.
Thayil said that from Tuesday to Thursday, a van was seen driving over the underground storage container lids and allegedly taking an average of 360 gallons of diesel fuel each day. He also believes someone in a Porsche SUV was standing as a lookout for the alleged thieves.
“The lookout and the van that is pumping the fuel out, they come at the same time,” Thayil said. “The van drives on top of the fuel tank and that’s all you see. Nobody comes out, so they have a trapped door inside their vehicle which is crazy. They have to have another man inside (the vehicle) to open our fuel tank, stick a hose in there.”
Thayil said the two suspected vehicles showed up again on Friday, but he ran after the van and it took off before taking any more diesel fuel.
“They hit us like the days we were paying like a real premium on the diesel fuel,” Thayil said. “Altogether it was about $5,000.”
The Houston Police Department told reporters that officers responded to the gas station on Friday and took a theft report.
Thayil said he added new locks to the storage lids. He said he wanted to share the surveillance video and their story to spread awareness for others to be on the lookout.
“I just hope that whoever did this, sees this story and either turn themselves in or just stops doing it,” Thayil said.