Gas Theft

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What Is Gas Theft?

Gasoline is a type of theft where the thief will usually steal gas in a form of way from the gas station or someone's vehicle without giving any type of payment and without the owners consent. Gasoline theft takes two basic forms

1) Pump and Run:  where the offender pumps gas and then leaves the station without paying. Because most stations now require the customer to pay before pumping gas, this is less of a problem.

2) Siphoning: This method occurs when the offender steals gas from somebody’s car by siphoning it off—usually by sticking a tube into the other car’s gas tank and sucking the gas out.

Is Stealing Gasoline Illegal?

In every state, the theft of any form of personal property is illegal. The penalties for theft depend on the value of the thing stolen, and the circumstances of the individual crime. Generally, punishments for theft can range from moderate fines and restitution for petty theft, to jail time for more serious offenses.

Many states have passed, or are debating, laws creating harsher penalties for gas theft than would be applied to theft of items of similar value. There is a trend in some states which allows convicted gas thieves to have their drivers’ licenses revoked. In one interesting case, a Maryland woman convicted of gas theft was required to stand outside a gas station wearing a large sign reading “I was caught stealing gas.”

What Are the Elements of Gas Theft

The crime of theft is committed when a person knowingly takes the property of another, intending to deprive him or her of its use. Gas theft clearly fits this definition (the gas is someone else’s property, and the thief intends to use it himself, depriving its owner of the use of his property. Stealing someone else’s gas is a crime and theft charges may be imposed on a person found guilty of such act.

Do I Need a Lawyer for Gasoline Theft?

If you have been accused of a crime you should speak with a lawyer immediately. An experienced defense attorney will be able to advise you of your rights, help you with a defense, and advise you as to what options may be available to you.

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Last Modified: 11-23-2015 04:45 PM PST

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