ORMOND BEACH, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35) - Ormond Beach Police say they’re trying to track down the person who is drilling holes into gas tanks to steal fuel. It’s happened nine times in the last three months, according to investigators.
Crews at Florida Tree Surgeons says one of their trucks was hit about a month ago.
“Found out someone had drilled a hole in the gas tank,” said sales manager Don Mead.
He says the truck had been parked in one of the company’s Holly Hill lots. The truck out of commission for about a week so the tank could be patched up.
“This cost us a little bit of time and money,” Mead explained.
In neighboring Ormond Beach, police say they’ve seen similar cases where someone is drilling a hole in the tank to steal gas. Officers say it happened one times in April, one time in May and seven times so far in June. Five of those happened in the last two weeks.
Andre Diefendorf, who owns Andre’s Automotive in Ormond Beach, says he remembers this being an issue years ago.
“This happened when gas prices got above $4, almost $5 a gallon. We had probably three tanks that were attacked out here,” Diefendorf said.
He says a lot of the time, people have to replace the entire tank, which could cost hundreds of dollars, or even more than a thousand.
“The detrimental side is that they damage someone’s vehicle and they’re actually maybe - maybe getting $20 to $30 of fuel,” Diefendorf said.
Investigators posted a warning Wednesday – asking people to be on the lookout for anyone who looks like they’re working under cars in unusual locations.
They also released a photo of a truck, saying the person inside may be involved in a Daytona Beach Shores case.
Ormond Beach Police say most of the thefts are happening in parking lots, but they didn’t release any exact locations.