Businesses Taking Hit From Gas Thieves

David Ramos
David Ramos
Nancy Wong
Nancy Wong

HONOLULU (KHNL) -- Hawaii gas prices are continuing to climb. Now, criminals are showing signs of greed and desperation.

It's hard to say if the high gas prices are making drivers desperate enough to take fuel from others, or if people are stealing gas so they can sell it and make money. Either way, businesses with skyrocketing fuel expenses say they're hurting.

A worker at 3-D Sheet Metal puts the finishing touches on his project. Besides filling customer orders, the company is busy filling the fuel tanks on its trucks.

"The gas gone," David Ramos, company owner, said. "They keep on taking the gas."

Ramos says gas thieves have hit his business six times in two months. The crime is committed at night, and discovered by his drivers the next day.

"Before they go out, they look the gas. Oh, they need gas. So I give them the card. They go put gas," Ramos said. "And the next day, they come back next morning, they tell me, 'Oh, we need gas again.' How can they need gas? We just when put gas."

From sheet metal to sheets of dough. Oahu Noodle Factory is also a recent victim of gas theft.

"They, at night, they come to stole it like that," Nancy Wong, company owner, said.

Wong's company uses six trucks to get the popular noodles across Oahu.

"Run everyday to deliver to Waianae and Hawaii Kai, Kailua and Kaneohe, yeah," she said. "Many place."

She says thieves hurt the family-run business, which is already dealing with rising operating costs.

"Electric bill, water bill, gas, all up," she said. "And material."

Ramos is thinking of different ways to deter the criminals. He says he's had enough.

"Weak, I feel weak inside. You know, we're trying to do things right, and working hard for put gas," he said. "And people just come along and just siphon em, cut the hose."

A Honolulu police spokesperson could not immediately say how many cases the department is investigating.