A man who burned to death Tuesday while attempting to steal fuel from a gas station in South Los Angeles had been warned by family members to stop the practice, his brother-in-law said.
The incident occurred at a 76 Gas Station at 45th Street and Avalon Boulevard. Firefighters responded to the station about 6:30 a.m. on a report of a van that was on fire.
Crews discovered a body inside the van after dousing the flames.
Investigators said it appeared the man was trying to steal gas from an underground tank, according to Richard French of the Los Angeles Police Department. At some point, the van caught on fire.
Although coroner’s officials had yet to identify the body, Ivan Jackson told an ABC News reporter the victim was his 56-year-old brother-in-law, Richard Glover of South Los Angeles.
Jackson said Glover was known to steal gas even though he was warned not to.
“The family’s been asking him to stop, stop, stop, stop doing it,” Jackson told ABC.
Jackson said his sister called and told him about the death.
“I had to come over and see it for myself and I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “I feel sorry for him. My poor little sister, all by herself. They got three kids.”
Arson investigators are trying to determine what caused the fire. Los Angeles Police investigators are also investigating.