AURORA, Colo. (KDVR) — Managers at a Colorado convenience store say they were the target of fuel thieves, and they have the incident on video.
It happened on March 14 at a T-Square convenience store in Aurora. The store manager said 2,000 gallons of gasoline and 3,000 gallons of diesel were stolen, amounting to $50,000 worth of fuel.
The video shows what appears to be a moving truck arriving at the Exxon station.
Normally, a customer would pay $4.89 for a gallon of diesel, according to the station managers. However, the people on the video pumped the fuel right into tanks they had in the back of the trucks without paying for it.
The store’s manager explained that the people on the video were able to pump the fuel without being charged using a remote.
“I thought it had just come out of the ground, but it didn’t. They just pumped it right out of the pumps because they set up a remote control,” said store manager Marti Baca, adding that the thieves were at the station for a few hours.
She added that the thieves had to have some knowledge of the gas pumps to know how to override its operating system and change settings on its computer.
As Nexstar’s WGHP recently reported, thieves have stolen thousands of gallons of gas in similar crimes around the globe in recent years.
In 2018, researchers at Kaspersky Lab, a software company that provides the firewall you may employ to protect your PC, found some gas pumps were vulnerable to takeover by hackers because there was an embedded controller in that gas pump that could be accessed by a skilled hacker to shut down pumping, change prices or bypass payment, among other things.
It was not immediately clear how the thieves bypassed the payment in Aurora. Baca told KDVR station operators have notified the police.
Aurora police said they were not aware of any gas theft rings, though they did confirm they received the call. They were expected to meet with the station’s manager Monday.