Pump Up The Crime Rate

, , , | Legal | February 17, 2019

(This story takes place a few years ago when gas is about $3 per gallon. I stop for gas on my drive to work. I drive a small car with a 13-gallon gas tank. The only other vehicle at the gas pumps is a large SUV with a woman standing next to it. The woman finishes pumping her gas while I’m still getting out of my car. She goes inside to pay, and I finish pumping my own gas. While I’m walking inside to pay, the woman practically sprints out of the store to her SUV, and then rushes out of the lot. I continue into the store, grab a drink and snack, and head to the cash register.)

Me: “This and gas on [Pump #2].”

Cashier: *scans my items and tries to enter the gas purchase* “Sir, are you sure you’re on [Pump #2]?”

Me: “Yeah, the black car out there.” *my car is now the only car at the gas pumps*

Cashier: “Sir, somebody already paid for [Pump #2]. The only unpaid gas purchase I have is for $70 on [Pump #1]. Are you sure that’s not you?”

Me: “My car only holds 13 gallons of gas. $70 of gas is almost double what my car’s gas tank can hold. There’s no way I filled up at that pump.”

Cashier: “Well, I don’t know what happened. Let me call my manager and I’ll see what he says. We need you to stay here until everything gets sorted.”

(The cashier calls his manager to the front of the store and tells him about the confusion. I call my boss to explain that I’m going to be late for work; luckily, my boss is pretty understanding. The manager goes back to the office to check the cameras, and returns to the register about ten minutes later.)

Manager: “Sir, it appears you’re correct; the cameras show you pulling up to [Pump #2]. However, I’ve called the police because I think I know what happened, and they might want to talk to you as a witness. The woman in the SUV at [Pump #1] might have seen your small car and decided to claim your gas purchase as her own to avoid paying as much for her giant SUV. Do you mind sticking around until the police get here?”

(Having already called my boss, I agreed to stick around for a few extra minutes. The police arrived and asked me to prove that the small car at [Pump #2] was mine; I used my key to start the car, and they were satisfied. The police thanked me for my time and let me go. The manager offered to waive the cost of my gas for being understanding, so I leave for work. The next time I stopped at that gas station, I asked the cashier what happened. The police were able to get the woman’s license plate from the cameras around the gas station and arrested her for her stunt.)

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