A would-be gas thief paid dearly for his misdeed over the weekend, catching fire as he drilled a hole in a truck’s gas tank at a Salt Lake City business.
It all was caught on surveillance video in broad daylight Saturday morning, KSL-TV reported — fittingly at Summit Fire & Security.
What are the details?
Video shows the crook underneath a work truck on the side where the gas tank is located, the station said, adding that a white pickup truck is parked next to the work truck.
Suddenly the thief pops up with his shirt on fire and emerges in front of both trucks, rolling on the surface of the parking lot in an attempt to extinguish the flames.
The guy rolled about 10 times before the flames were out, after which he ditched his charred shirt and ran into the white pickup truck that the driver drove forward to pick him up.
The below screenshot shows what appears to be a red gas container left behind under the truck, as smoke billows from the bottom — and the hapless would-be thief about to remove his shirt:
“Some people try to take the easy way out of everything,” Branch Manager Travis Mills told KSL as the surveillance clip ran.
Mills added to the station that the crook “tried to siphon gas out of it, and he wasn’t getting the siphon to work. So he decided to drill the gas tank, and that’s when he caught on fire.”
He added to KSL that “the reason why he’s fleeing is that, if there were more gas in it than a gallon, this thing would have absolutely turned into a bomb. It’s sad because times are tough for a lot of people, but it’s not worth the $5 that he would have saved for the the injury that the guy sustained.”
In addition, the company has suffered multiple catalytic converter thefts and smash-and-grab thefts in recent years, the station said.
The outfit even installed a $30,000 security system prior to Saturday’s incident, KSL reported: “It’s been expensive,” Mills added to the station.
Now, the attempted gas theft is setting them back financially even more.
The truck is now off the road due to its damaged gas tank, KSL said, and replacing the tank will be costly — if a replacement tank can be found.
“Horrendous expense,” Mills added to the station. “We have downtime with our guys, immediately.”
Tony Allred, division chief for the Salt Lake City Fire Marshal told KSL “given the gas prices in the valley and nationwide, we are seeing an increase in gas theft.”
Allred added to the station that “drilling into a tank is extraordinarily dangerous,” as the drill, drill bit, or even static electricity could spark an explosion.