Thieves take 4,300 gallons of gasoline

BURBANK — More than 4,000 gallons of gasoline were stolen early Saturday from an Exxon station in Burbank, an unprecedented theft in the city at a time when gas prices continue to rise, police said Monday.

Between midnight Friday and 5 a.m. Saturday at least one suspect driving a gasoline tanker-truck pumped about 4,300 gallons from the underground storage depot when the station, located at 2417 N. San Fernando Blvd., was closed, Lt. Armen Dermenjian said.

There were no eyewitnesses and police do not know how many people are responsible for the theft, but investigators believe that the truck used was not imprinted with company logos usually found on gas tankers, he said.

“We have no reports of a gas truck being stolen,” Dermenjian said, “so it was probably unmarked. They would have had to have brought a tanker truck to the gas station, but whether it was stolen or not, we don’t know.”

Gas thefts have been on the rise in recent weeks, as the price of oil continues to rise and the average price for a tank of unleaded in Los Angeles set a record mark of $4.62 Monday, according to the American Automobile Assn.

Burbank police have recorded minor incidents of gas stolen from parked cars in recent weeks, but nothing on the scale of the 4,300-gallon theft, said Dermenjian, a 14-year veteran of the Burbank Police Department.

“I have not seen anything of this magnitude,” he said. “I’ve heard reports of similar incidents in other parts of Southern California and even nationwide. But as far as Burbank, I would have to say it’s very rare.”

Dermenjian asked anyone with information to call the department, at (818) 238-3210.

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