Thousands of dollars in diesel stolen from family business
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am
GATESVILLE -- A family-owned business in Gatesville that's been a part of the community for 20 years was robbed in a way they didn't even know was possible.
More than 11,000 dollars worth of diesel fuel was remotely pumped into four tractor trailers, leaving the Pruitt family in shock.
"My family, sick at their stomachs, you know? I didn't know, I hadn't heard of this yet, it just blew you away, it would blow you away to watch that happen," Stacy Pruitt, employee and daughter of the owner said.
Gatesville police tell us there were 5 truck drivers and 4 trucks, accumulating over 3,000 gallons of diesel fuel on February 2nd, 8th and 9th.
But by the latest robbery Thursday morning, Gatesville police were ready and now all 5 suspects are in jail.
This method of gas theft may be new to Gatesville, but it's not new to Texas.
"What they did was cut our lock off, and replaced it with one that they brought, so there they had the lock and key. After they get in the panel, it was some kind of toy motor with a remote control from a toy truck and they got in the system and triggered it with the remote and turned it on," Pruitt said, explaining how they were able to take the fuel without paying.
Pruitt said when they were going over their record books from the day before, it just didn't add up. They contacted police immediately.
And as gas prices continue to rise, driving off on that bill may seem more appealing, but a word of caution, police and station owners are cracking down.
Gatesville Police Chief Nathan Gohlke says for any business, the better your security system, the better off you are, and the Pruitt's are listening to that advice.
"Safety precautions, more more safety precautions. We've had several people in already today trying to come up with a plan. Just have to be more careful."
The investigation into the diesel theft continues and the Pruitt's are now working with their insurance to try to get their money back.
Police are unsure at this time if the five suspects are linked to any other diesel fuel thefts in the state or around the country.