JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) – When gas prices start getting this high, a few drivers decide to bypass the cash register after filling up.
Ronald J. Leone, executive director for the Missouri Petroleum Marketers and Convenience Store Association, says while fuel pump drive-offs haven’t gotten to be a big problem — yet — during the latest spike, it will start happening more often as prices head northward.
Leone says his member stations do have ways of fighting back against fuel thieves.
“That includes updating their security and surveillance systems,” Leone tells KMOX News. “And then I guess one of the main things that my members do is they can make either certain pumps or entire locations pre-pay.”
But Leone says member stations must walk a fine line, because 99.9% of those filling up are honest, law-abiding customers.
“We definitely want to keep the ‘convenience’ in convenience stores,” he says.
In both Missouri and Illinois, driving off without paying for fuel is punishable by up to a year in prison and a hefty fine — definitely more costly than a tank of gas, no matter how high prices get.
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