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Spanaway man accused of stealing neighbor’s gas to “survive”

Post by Stacia Glenn / The News Tribune on Feb. 25, 2013 at 8:40 am |
February 25, 2013 8:40 am

He saw siphoning gasoline as a way to make a few bucks.

The 37-year-old Spanaway man is accused of first siphoning gas from his neighbor’s pickup truck but the neighbor caught on and bought a locking gas cap.

His next attempt was to puncture a hole in the pickup’s gas tank and place a bucket beneath it to collect the draining gas.

The neighbor had had enough. He called Pierce County sheriff’s deputies out to investigate and told them he believed it was his neighbor. Another neighbor offered to show deputies surveillance footage that allegedly showed the man walking back and forth between his home and the neighbor’s pickup truck.

A deputy went to the man’s house to talk to him and spotted a bucket of gasoline sitting out front.

While being interviewed, the man “indicated that he and his wife had fallen on hard times and needed to steal (his neighbor’s) gasoline in order to survive,” according to court records.

The man stole an estimated $50 in gasoline. It cost $1,094 to repair the punctured fuel tank of his neighbor’s pickup truck.

Prosecutors charged the man with third-degree theft and second-degree malicious mischief. He has not yet been arraigned.

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