A New Twist To Gas Theft

By: Doug Korstanje Email
By: Doug Korstanje Email

A man visiting his mother in Huntington this weekend found himself stranded with no gasoline and three cars with damaged gas tanks.

Someone crawled underneath a truck, a van and a car outside Betsy Schofield’s home in Altizer and used a portable drill to puncture the gas tanks on both her vehicles and her son’s car. Schofield’s son, Jesse Mannon, was visiting from Morgantown.

Mannon discovered the theft Sunday morning when he got in the car to go back home. Mannon’s car started, but the fuel gage read empty despite a fill-up the day before.

Mannon thought someone had siphoned his gas, so he went back to the gas station and tried to fill up again. That’s when he noticed gas pouring out from underneath his car on to the pavement. Mannon then realized there were two drill punctures in the plastic tank underneath. He returned to his mother’s house and found the same damage to Schofield’s truck and van. The mother and son believe someone drained the gas in to other containers while Schofiled and Mannon slept.

Betsy Schofield says she can understand people are desperate because of the high gas prices, but she’s angry about the damage to her cars and says she can’t afford to pay for the repairs. The family says the crime also put them at risk because the drill could have sparked a gasoline fire.

Huntington police are investigating and anyone with information about the crime is asked to call the detective bureau at 304-696-4420. SEE DOUG'S FULL REPORT TONIGHT AT 6PM

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