Besides dealing with an expensive product and desperate customers, gas station owners now face another consequence of soaring California gas prices: gas thieves.
Thieves stole about 1,100 gallons of gas, worth more than $4,500, from a Shell station in Roseville, Calif., coming back at least three times last week, disabling the pump's meter and pumping the gas into a tank in their truck bed. Eventually, an employee took down the license plate number of the black pickup. Roseville Police told ABC News that they have arrested a male suspect but are still seeking a female suspect. About 100 gallons of gas was recovered and returned to station manager Tony Sandhu.
"They knew what they were doing. They got around it, not once but three times," Sandhu told ABC News. "I don't know if we can recover that money or not, but at least those people should go to jail."
Gas prices in California hit a record high of an average $4.655 a gallon on Sunday, as a result of 10-year lows in supply and high wholesale prices due to pipeline and refinery problems.
Beleaguered gas station owners have tried different options for dealing with the price issue, according to the Los Angeles Times. Some closed when they ran out of the fuel they bought at lower prices, others were not buying fuel for fear that they couldn't sell it before prices fell, and others just increased prices and passed costs along to the consumers.
Though some price relief is expected this week, the average price of gas could first climb as high as $4.85, Patrick DeHaan, a senior petroleum analyst at GasBuddy.com, told the Associated Press.
Gas thieves have emerged as high gas prices coincide with a tough economy. In March, thieves funneled thousands of dollars of gas from an underground tank into their fake bread delivery truck at a Sacramento, Calif., gas station. From Washington to Hawaii to North Carolina, thieves have siphoned gas from rental trucks, leaving business owners with the losses.
Even with the police on their case, the Roseville Shell station is suffering from more than just one hit to business. Cory Cookson, another employee of the Shell station, told KCRA News, "Now we turn off the pumps at night so no one can even purchase gas at night, which is also going to hurt us because now we don't get any gas sales during the night."
ALSO ON HUFFPOST:
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/05/jobs-report-conspiracy-theory-baseless_n_1942685.html">Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, tweeted</a> on Friday that President Obama's team must have cooked the September jobs numbers in order to help his reelection chances. But <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/05/jobs-report-conspiracy-theory-baseless_n_1942685.html">these claims are baseless</a>: The Bureau of Labor Statistics is an independent agency that conducts scientific random surveys.
Rush Limbaugh On Jobs Report
Long before <a href="https://twitter.com/jack_welch/status/254198154260525057">Jack Welch accused the Bureau of Labor Statistics</a> of cooking its books to help President Obama on Oct. 5, conservative talk show host <a href="http://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2012/02/03/happy_days_are_here_again_in_obamaville_raw_jobs_numbers_tell_very_different_story">Rush Limbaugh claimed in February</a> that the Bureau of Labor Statistics' seasonal adjustment of the jobs numbers amounted to cooking the books to help President Obama. He said that "the raw number" from December to January meant "we lost two million jobs." But economists agree that seasonal adjustment is critical for month-to-month measurements, since there are seasonal factors that add noise to the data otherwise. (Hat tip: <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/economic-conspiracy-theories-2012-8?op=1">Business Insider</a>.)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/13/donald-trump-federal-reserve_n_1882256.html">Real estate mogul Donald Trump told CNBC</a> in September that the Federal Reserve is "creating phony numbers and they're doing it through stimulus." The Fed has bought securities in its three rounds of quantitative easing, which many economists argued has had a <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/21/federal-reserves-bond-buy_n_881805.html"> real effect on the economy</a>.
Republican political strategist <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/media/2008/12/09/33404/rove-oreilly-economy/">Karl Rove and Fox News host Bill O'Reilly said</a> in December 2008 that journalists exaggerated the economic crisis then so that anything under President Obama would be an improvement. But the economy really was in a deep recession at the time.
Erin Burnett ON Fed Stimulus
<a href="http://outfront.blogs.cnn.com/2012/08/31/fed-chairman-ben-bernanke-defends-stimulus-that-cost-1-million-per-job/">CNN anchor Erin Burnett said</a> on her show "Erin Burnett OutFront" on Aug. 31 that Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke may embark on another round of quantitative easing, a type of monetary stimulus, in order to help Obama get reelected and keep his own job. But the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) is independent and makes its monetary policy decisions based on how the economy is doing. Also, Bernanke is a registered Republican and was appointed by George W. Bush.
Rush Limbaugh On Financial Crisis
Conservative talk show host <a href="http://thinkprogress.org/politics/2008/12/22/34058/limbaugh-democrats-indy/">Rush Limbaugh claimed in December 2008</a> that President Obama helped cause the financial crisis so that he could gain power. (Hat tip: <a href="http://www.businessinsider.com/economic-conspiracy-theories-2012-8?op=1">Business Insider</a>.)
Rep. Ron Paul (R-Tex.), who believes America should abolish the Federal Reserve and go back to the gold standard, <a href="http://www.fool.com/investing/general/2011/04/14/the-conspiracy-theorists-history-of-gold.aspx">said in 2010</a> that the New York Fed might not have any gold in its vaults, according to The Motley Fool. Actually, <a href="http://www.newyorkfed.org/education/addpub/goldvault.pdf">it does</a>.
Erin Burnett On Food And Gas Prices
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/08/erin-burnett-federal-reserve_n_1866971.html">CNN anchor Erin Burnett claimed</a> on her show "Erin Burnett OutFront" in September that the Federal Reserve's stimulus measures have caused food and gas prices to rise. But <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/09/08/erin-burnett-federal-reserve_n_1866971.html">there has been no correlation</a> between the two.