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USU police looking for suspects in gas theft at research facility

By Sandra Yi | Posted - Nov 20th, 2012 @ 8:20pm

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WELLSVILLE, Cache County — Gas thieves are targeting a research facility at Utah State University, and police say that in the last month, they've gotten away with stealing 500 gallons of diesel fuel.

The investigation began Nov. 7 when workers at the Caine Dairy noticed gas missing from their tractors. Then they realized that they'd been hit before.

"You could go to and from there without drawing a lot of attention," said Capt. Steve Milne.

That worked to the advantage of thieves who went unnoticed as they siphoned gas out of five tractors. It is unsure how much diesel was in each machine, but it was obvious that the fuel levels were lower than they had been the day before. They also realized it wasn't the first time that they'd been victims.

"They came into work that day, and noticed a siphoning hose on the ground," Milne said. "In addition to the tractors, there's a large storage tank that they use to fill the tractors with. They believe they're also missing gas out of that."

Anyone with further information is asked to call USU Police at (435)797-1939.

Police say workers are still trying to figure out the final tally, but so far, they believe they're out 500 gallons of diesel fuel. With diesel marked at about four dollars a gallon, that's a $2,000 loss.

"So what's it being used for?" Milne said. "Somebody using it to subsidize their farming? Or are they using it for their personal vehicles? That's still in question."

USU Police say, gas theft is rare. During tough economic times and before the holidays, they see a rise in property theft. Still, they want to find the culprits before they strike again.

"It could be one person," Milne said. "I suspect though, there might be more people involved than just one."

Police are asking the Cache County Sheriff's Department to help patrol the area. Anyone with further information is asked to call USU Police at (435)797-1939.


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