DAVIS, CA (CNN/KOVR) -- Police in California say some enterprising thieves came up with an unusual way to steal thousands of dollars worth of gasoline. They say the bad guys used a truck custom made for the crime. It was all caught on camera!
Caught on camera, two men using what appears to be a bread delivery truck pull up to the pump to make it look like they're getting gas. Turns out, detectives say it was an elaborate plan to steal thousands in fuel.
Look closely and you'll see one man lift the lid off an underground tank. That's when detectives say through a hole in the van, the suspects used their own pump to pump the gas out.
Darshan Mundy says, "It is tough, this is another big loss." Mundy says his Valero gas station has been hit six times in the past month by the suspects, costing him $8,000.
An employee staking out the pumps spotted the suspects and called police. One man fled on foot, but officers were able to arrest 27-year-old Tyler Bird who is now facing charges of conspiracy and attempted grand theft. Lt. Paul Doroshov says, "This is the first time in my 20 year career that I've seen something like this."
Officers surprised by what they found inside, a 1,000 gallon gas tank, and a hose that could be lowered through the floor. Police concerned a secret spark could have caused a catastrophe. Lt. Doroshov says, "You're talking about a lot of vapor a lot of flammable fluids and the people doing it are not exactly your gas truck operators that are well trained."
So customers think today's high prices at the pump may be to blame. One customer says, "I guess people get cornered and they get to a place where they do what they need to do and that's, that's sad."
Mundy says this is the worst crime wave he's seen in his 26 years of business. His customers feel bad, but officers are glad this tricked out truck is now off the streets.
Mundy says his insurance won't cover the cost of the stolen gas because he's not going to report it since his rates could go up.
Police think these suspects were involved in other gas thefts.