A North Carolina gas station was robbed of nearly 400 gallons of gasoline on Monday.
Over 15 cars pulled up and drained 398 gallons of gas at Bizzy Bee Grocery Store and Gas Station in High Point after the business had closed.
The first car that pulled up appeared to use a device to bypass the payment system — then 15-20 more cars arrived and stole approximately $1,600 in gasoline.
The theft continued for about 45 minutes until people noticed the unusual number of vehicles at the closed business and reported it to the police.
“I’ve been in business for 15 years and owned other gas stations. I have never seen something like this,” the gas station’s owner Hardik Patel told CNN. “It wasn’t free, they were stealing.”
The report noted that “the incident comes as gas prices have climbed to recent record highs. The national average reached $4.33 a gallon Monday after setting four records in a row last week. As of Thursday morning, the average was $4.29 a gallon, according to AAA.”
The theft was captured on surveillance footage, which has now been released to the public.
This is surveillance video from the Bizzy Bee Grocery in High Point. I spoke with the owner who says someone stole 400 gallons of gas from there Monday night. @HighPointPolice are investigating @WFMY pic.twitter.com/Xv1t8RhDsw
— Jenna Kurzyna (@JkurzynaTV) March 16, 2022
Patel told local station WFMY, “I got a call from the police department a little after 11 saying that there was something going on with your pumps, and by the time we got here and see, police were here already; about three cops and when we looked on the camera we see about 45 minutes, about 15 to 20 cars in and out and pumping gas.”
Ron Pierce, a cyber security expert with Trinity Solutions, Inc., explained how this was possible to the station.
“Whoever this was, they knew something about those gas pumps. They either knew how to go in and program or reset them to factory, but they knew a way to say, forget what you know and do what I tell you to do,” Pierce said.
Patel said he will now be shutting off the pumps when the gas station is closed but will consider shutting down his business altogether if the thefts continue.
“If I lose more than I make, there might be some things to think about,” he said.
The High Point Police Department is still investigating the incident, and no arrests have been made at this time.