Gas Theft Turns Into Hit and Run

Gas Theft Turns Into Hit and Run

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Samantha Hayes Reporting"I can't believe someone would actually hit and run like that for twenty-nine dollars of gas."

But police say that is exactly what happened when a worker at a Chevron gas station tried to stop a woman from getting away with gas she didn't pay for. The Ogden man is in the hospital recovering from serious injuries, including head trauma he suffered when the driver hit him. Police are looking for the female suspect, but only have limited information.

We all know gas is expensive and, as a result, there have been many reports nationwide of people driving off without paying. But police say in this situation, the driver took it to the extreme.

Brad Blair didn't want to see it happen again. This is his father's gas station and witnesses say from behind the cash register he saw a woman trying to get away without paying.

Steve Zampedri, Chevron worker: "He hit the window to stop her and she swerved into him and hit him and he fell down, and she ran right over the legs, right here."

That's when Steve Zampedri rushed out of the Chevron repair shop to help.

Steve Zampedri: "His dad told me later that he was afraid to go around that Coke truck to see what he was going to be seeing in the road out there. He didn't know if his son was going to be dead or whatever he said I was really sick about it."

Witnesses say the female driver had dark hair and may have been driving a teal Chevrolet Sebring or an Eagle Talon. The gas station doesn't have any surveillance equipment so police were hoping to see something off the traffic camera.

Lt. Scott Sangberg, Ogden Police Department: "What they do is take quick video for counting purposes and are not stored, so there is nothing from traffic cameras that will help."

Ogden police say more people are stealing gas. In 2004 it happened 279 times. So far this year 257 drive-offs have been recorded. At this rate Lt. Scott Sandgerg expects more than 300 drive-offs by the end of the year, although he says Blair's Chevron case is a first.

Lt. Scott Sangberg: "We have violence when it comes to dealing with shoplifters but this is the first time we have anyone seriously injured in a gas theft."

The driver may face aggravated assault charges and could spend at least five years in prison. The victim, Brad Blair, was in intensive care yesterday but friends say he is improving.

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