Gas theft is increasing in Claremore

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Reported by: MirandaChristian
Updated: 7/03/2013 8:54 am Published: 7/02/2013 9:40 pm

Word of mouth is advertising a crime, and it's spreading faster than Claremore police can fight it.

Prices at the pump have driven thieves to see what they could get away with. They're filling up without paying.

"I am not doing it," said Jennipher Easterby, a Claremore driver.

Easterby said she knows who is. Easterby told FOX23 she has a friend who does it all the time.

"I think they've all got it down to a science," said Easterby, "especially being right out here next to the turnpike gate and go."

Police have counted 62 cases since January, but that's not accurate.

Officer Jamie Starling said if clerks don't spot a driver's tag when it happens, they don't dial 911.

"We have a couple of them that have removed tags before they go up to do that," said Starling.

Thieves are promising to pay inside, but after topping off their tank, they leave.

Police would like to see a change in city ordinance that forces everyone in Claremore to prepay for gas.

FOX23 heard it could take time before that happens. Meantime, word is spreading about where thieves can fill up at someone else's expense.

Police told FOX23 that a conviction for stolen gas could mean losing your license.

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