High-tech gas thieves hit Grays Harbor County

by: Richard Thompson Updated:


MONTESANO, Wash. - Montesano Shell gas station owner Tony Kim gets angry when he watches surveillance video of a truck pulling into his station in the middle of the night to rip him off.

"My money, that's about $2,500 in gas right there," said Kim.

Montesano Police Chief Brett Vance tells KIRO 7 these thieves had gone high-tech.

"They're coming in and bypassing the computer system of the gas pumps and they are stealing gas," said Chief Vance.

The thieves were able to use an electronic keypad to override the pump's computer system and steal about 600 gallons fuel they pumped directly into storage tanks hidden in the back of their pickup truck.

The thieves got away with the fuel but were captured by police the following evening when they came back to steal more gas.

Kim says he is increasing security after the theft: "I had the locksmith order special keys." He has also started manually shutting off his system at night to try to stop the creative high-tech thieves, saying, "They just keep getting smarter and smarter."

Montesano police arrested three people in connection with the theft and one of them is also suspected in similar gas thefts in Thurston County.