In a startling incident in Detroit, Michigan, a crafty thief managed to steal approximately 800 gallons of gasoline from a Shell gas station on Eight Mile Road and Wyoming Avenue. The unconventional method involved exploiting the Bluetooth functionality of a mobile phone to compromise the fuel pump’s system.
The Bluetooth Hack: A Modern-Day Gas Theft
The station owner, known as “Mo,” revealed that the thief utilized Bluetooth technology to override the pump’s system, effectively gaining unrestricted access to dispense gasoline. Once hacked, the thief had the ability to pump gas at will and even allow other vehicles to do the same.
They can take as much gas as they want and allow other vehicles to pump gas as well,” explained the concerned owner.
How the Hack Operated
Upon successful manipulation of the pump’s system through Bluetooth, the thief effortlessly opened the pump, granting unauthorized access to fuel. This breach resulted in the theft of a substantial 800 gallons of gasoline, amounting to a monetary loss of $3,000 for the gas station.
Escalating Concerns and Community Response
We have to shut off the whole pumps — we have emergency stops,” Mo expressed, emphasizing the need for drastic measures to halt the theft and mitigate potential losses. Meanwhile, authorities are actively pursuing leads to apprehend the alleged thief and curb such criminal activities.
In a separate but related incident, a similar modus operandi was observed. While one individual distracted a gas station clerk, an accomplice outside hacked the pump to steal $54 worth of gasoline. These incidents have put station clerks on high alert, prompting vigilance and immediate action against suspicious activities.
Battling Gas Theft: Challenges and Solutions
Mo acknowledged the challenges faced by gas station personnel in combatting such thefts, stating, “We can only do so much.” As gas prices continue to rise, it becomes increasingly crucial for stations to enhance security measures and collaborate with law enforcement agencies to deter and catch criminals engaged in fuel theft.
Impact on Gas Prices
This wave of gas theft coincides with a nine-month high in oil prices, amplifying concerns regarding the security of fuel supply. In Michigan, the average price for a gallon of gas stands at approximately $3.65, prompting both station owners and consumers to remain vigilant amidst this evolving landscape of fuel theft and economic fluctuations.
The Detroit Police Department, in collaboration with gas station owners and the community, remains committed to addressing this issue and implementing strategies to safeguard fuel stations against such technological thefts in the future.