Gas station theft targets tire inflation machines

Published: Jun. 21, 2019 at 5:30 PM EDT
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Gas stations take in thousands of dollars each day, and employees always have to keep an eye out for customers trying to get away with some of that money.

Officials have been warning customers about skimmers on gas pumps for years, but a recent theft targets another machine.

South Charleston Police said, in May, several gas stations in Huntington, South Charleston, Charleston, Elkview, Chapmanville and Branchland had money stolen out of their quarter-operated tire inflation machines.

Piggly Wiggly Store Manager Tom Keaton said the store has alarms on their gas pumps and cameras around the store, and he plans to watch everything much more closely after hearing about the recent thefts.

"It's sad to see somebody would go to that level just to take quarters, but it does happen," Keaton said.

Police said a man and the woman are wanted for questioning, and considered suspects in almost all of the thefts. Police said they have been seen in a dark-colored 2011 to 2016 Chevrolet Cruze.

Police told WSAZ a majority of the thefts have happened at Exxons and Speedways along Corridor G.

The pair has gotten away with around $3,500 total.

Keaton said store managers deal with crime-related incidents almost every day.

"It's aggravating for us, just to keep going back and looking through video footage. Then, you have to call the police, and it's a really long process," Keaton said.

If you can identify the suspects or know anything about the thefts, you're asked to call the South Charleston Police Department Detective Bureau at 304-744-5951.