DALLAS — As gas prices continue to rise, so are gas thefts across North Texas, according to the Dallas Police Department.
Dallas police said they recently raided a property in Oak Cliff for stolen gas.
“We found a house that was being used as a gas station,” said Richard Santiesteban.
In the backyard, Dallas police found hundreds of gallons of gas. Police said they were being pumped into an actual gas pump on the property.
A WFAA crew rode along when police busted an illegal operation back in June; it was part of a ring that is still in operation. Police said they are picking up their business.
During the recent raid in Oak Cliff, police confiscated a truck with a large plastic tank in the back filled with what, they said, was stolen gas.
A neighbor got surveillance video. He agreed to talk if WFAA didn’t show his face.
"The garage door would open, the hose would come out, and they would start filling up," the neighbor said.
Police said the suspects were using a skimmer device they placed on gas pumps that copy credit and debit card information. The information was sent to their cellphones and they used the numbers to make a fake cards. Then, they would immediately use those card to buy gas to fill up their large containers.
The Dallas Police Department said it's getting calls from gas companies reporting they are losing millions of dollars in fuel.
And there are other theft methods.
In Houston, the manager of a gas station said they stole 350 gallons in three days from their underground tank.
"The van drives up on top of the fuel tank and that’s all you see. Nobody comes out, so they have a trapped door inside their vehicle, which is crazy,” said Jerry Thayil, manager.
Dallas police recently confiscated a device used in these types of thefts during a traffic stop this week. They said the device is used to break the gas tank lid to extract hundreds of gallons at a time.
Police said if you want to protect yourself there are a couple of things you can do: Pay inside at the gas station instead of at the pump. That will help keep your debit and card information from being stolen.
Dallas police said they’ve also had a few reports of people siphoning gasoline out of people’s cars.
They suggests parking your car in the garage or a well-lit area near your home if possible.