Catoosa County deputies searching for thief behind rash of gasoline thefts
RINGGOLD, Georgia (WDEF) – The Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office needs the public’s help in identifying a man who is suspected of committing a rash of gasoline thefts.
Catoosa County Detective, Mike Helton said the man seen on a surveillance photo may responsible for a rash of gasoline thefts from Catoosa Trans-Aid buses.
“This has been going on for at least a week and a half. We’ve had three documented instances that we know of where we’ve had anywhere from 30 to 60 gallons taken in a night,” Helton said.
The detective is certain the suspect has been orally siphoning the gas from the vehicles as they sit parked overnight in an open lot. Illegally siphoning the fuel is not only costing tax payers hundreds if not thousands of dollars, it’s also very dangerous.
“In this case, we don’t notice the person smoking or anything but there is gas spilled on the ground and it appears as though there may be gas on his clothing; the bottom of the pants if you notice on that picture. Anything could happen,” Helton said.
News 12 has also learned that recent gasoline thefts have not been limited to Catoosa County buses. Since authorities have gone public about the crime, more people have begun to come forward with similar complaints.
“In our Facebook post related to this specific theft, there’s probably two or three other communities that I know of where citizens have been commenting that they also have been noticing gas thefts in their neighborhoods,” Helton said.
According to authorities, every time Catoosa-Trans Aid bus drivers have take time to go fill up gas tanks robbed of fuel, that’s time being taken away from elderly and handicapped customers who rely on those buses to get to their doctor’s appointments.
If anyone has information about the suspect seen in surveillance photos, that are strongly urged to contact the Catoosa County Sheriff’s Office at (706)935-2424.