(CNN) — With the nationwide average price of gasoline hitting $5 a gallon, and prices expected to continue to rise, thefts of gasoline are being reported across the country, and according to police, it’s not just a few gallons being siphoned from vehicles.
Now, thieves are pumping thousands of dollars’ worth of fuel from gas stations and selling it on the black market, according to authorities.
Two men were arrested in connection with the theft of thousands of dollars’ worth of gasoline from a Virginia Beach Citgo gas station, according to the Virginia Beach Police Department.
Officers began investigating after they noticed an unusual number of people pumping gas and congregating at the Citgo, which was closed at the time, a news release stated.
The officers discovered the use of devices to illegally obtain gas from the pumps and individuals selling the gas at a cheaper price, the release stated.
They also “advertised the operation on social media,” according to the release.
The suspects are being charged with grand larceny, conspiracy and possession of burglary tools, according to the release. Authorities say the investigation is ongoing.
CNN affiliate WESH in Orlando, Florida, reported police in nearby St. Cloud are looking for two people who they say stole more than 1,000 gallons of fuel from a gas station, using what police believe is a large tank in the bed used to store fuel.
CNN affiliate KVVU in Las Vegas, Nevada, reported that highly modified vehicles are being used to steal tens of thousands of gallons from local gas stations, according to authorities.
And in Greenville, South Carolina, CNN affiliate WHNS reports police have made several arrests for gas thefts. Authorities believe thousands of dollars’ worth of fuel were stolen.
President Joe Biden has invited oil company executives to a meeting next week to discuss high gas prices.
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