TURLOCK (CBS13) — Business owners in Turlock are being hit three to four times a week by gas thieves draining their gas tanks.

Eddy Dixon’s main business is upholstery, like upholstering classic cars like this ’57 Ford. But he also rents U-Haul trucks to try and make some side money, but lately, crooks have been stripping him of his profits.

During the day, it’s cutting, sewing and stitching at Eddy’s shop in Turlock. But when the sun sets, the crooks come creeping.

“They’re crawling in the shadows.”

Gas is what they want. One look at the ground, you can see the petrol perps have been at it recently.

“A truck was backed up here and this is where the gas cap was and where they spilled.”

These gas stains are Eddy’s profits, siphoned by someone that’s been hitting Turlock businesses for a month.

“$80 here, $100 here. It’s taking away from things that our family needs.”

Eddy has tried locking gas caps on his U-Haul rentals, but the gas guzzlers end up crawling underneath, cutting hoses to get directly to the tank.

He’s even parked his trucks close together to try and protect the gas tanks, so the crooks don’t have access to them.

That hasn’t worked either, but Eddie’s hoping increased police patrols will help.

Eddie thinks the thieves are drug addicts looking for to trade a tank of stolen gas for a quick fix.

But he wants them to know that he’s not made of money, just here to make an honest living and trying to get by.

“I’m week-to-week like everybody else, just trying to make ends meet and keep food on the table.”

Eddie has ordered new security cameras, since images from the ones he had were too grainy for police to use. They’re bigger and brighter, and he’s hoping that will help scare off any would-be thieves.


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