A Manchester business owner falls victim to a bizarre crime. Now, she's working to get a warning out to others.
Police say thieves went to extreme measures to steal gas from the victims' vehicles. The first incident happened in mid-May. Marla Brunk had just walked out to her truck, and says she knew something was wrong right away. Her truck’s gas cap was not fully secured, and the gas gauge was showing there was not any fuel in her tank. She was able to get the truck to a gas station right next door, but ran into more trouble.
“I started putting gas in it and it started pouring out on the ground underneath the vehicle. And of course I panicked,” said Brunk.
Later, mechanics told her there were two small holes in her gas tank where thieves had apparently drilled for fuel. It appeared they'd tried to siphon it, but a special valve had stopped them. So, Marla repaired her truck and tried to forget about it. But then, last week, it happened again. This time, it was a different vehicle belonging to her business, and there was still gas leaking from the tank when she discovered the crime the next morning. But when she took the vehicle to the mechanic she was still hoping it was an ordinary problem.
“They said, ‘No, I've got bad news for you, there's a hole drilled in the bottom of the tank,’” said Brunk.
The second time, she went to police in hopes of preventing it from happening again to her or anyone else. By now, she's paid a large price for those two gallons of gas. The damage has cost her around $2700.
“I would much rather give them the money for the gas then to make the payment I have to make toward the repair,” said Brunk.
Brunk is ramping up security at her business by keeping lights on all night and improving her security cameras. Police say they haven't had any more reports of holes in gas tanks, but they do recommend anyone worried about this type of crime take similar steps.