Thieves Use ‘Trap Door’ to Steal over 1,000 Gallons of Fuel

A family-owned gas station in Texas realized they were robbed of over 1,000 gallons of diesel fuel by thieves who used a “trap door.” 

Jerry Thayil, the manager at Fuqua Express gas station in southwest Houston, told USA TODAY he spotted a 360-gallon diesel fuel discrepancy.

After noticing it again the next day, he watched camera footage and found a pair of minivans that had been suspiciously parked over the inlets for the station’s tanks.

After checking the camera, he noticed a van driving over the container lids, but no one gets out of the vehicle.

“They have a trap 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,” he told ABC 13

On the fourth attempt last Friday, Thayil said he chased the van away.

“I didn’t want to just let them hit us again and lose another $1,200, $1,300,” he told CNN. “We’re a family-owned business, so every penny counts around here.” 

In total, he said the business lost between $5,000 and $6,000 worth of fuel.

The Houston Police Department told USA TODAY it is investigating the incident and found two reports of similar gas thefts in the area within the last six months. 

It is not known if the incidents are related, and no further information is available.  

Thayil told CNN the business is in talks with its insurance company to see if the thefts are covered.

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