Transcript for Gas Station Explodes After Botched Diesel Heist in Florida
We saw a jarring piece of video that got us thinking. Look at this. An explosion at a gas station in Florida. The result of an alleged theft gone badly Ary. Turns out this is not an isolated problem. Gas thieves are going to extraordinary lengths putting themselves and the rest of us in real danger. Here's ABC's Neal Karlinsky. Reporter: No small miracle that no one was hurt when an explosion ripped apart a black mini van in the middle of a busy afternoon. It was like a generator or -- it sounded so different that couldn't tell what it was. Reporter: Look closely at /+ surveillance camera shows the blast as it happened. Flames quickly spreading. Couple minutes later, heard bang, smoke in the air. Reporter: Police say this was no random accident. It was caused by a sophisticated gas thief. With a 150 gallon pumping system hidden in that minivan. The suspect and others like him aren't going after the gas pumps but something you hardly noticed. The lids to the underground storage tanks. Thieves park right over them with a hidden trapped door in the car and drop a line down and pump up the gas storing it in their own tanks hidden inside. In Los Angeles, two recent cases, include this horse trailer. Police say it's outfitted with a sophisticated pumping system and trapped door. But no horses. Thieves steal an estimated $89 million a year in gas either by driving off without paying or siphoning. In Miami police arrested a suspect injured but lucky to be alive. In California another suspect burned to death while trying to pull off the very same heist. Neal Karlinsky ABC news, los Angeles.
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