Management

Hundreds of Gallons of Gas Stolen From School Bus Yard

Thomas McMahon
Posted on July 6, 2017

A custodian arrived at the Novato (Calif.) USD bus yard and spotted two people syphoning gasoline from storage tanks. He snapped photos as the pair fled in a box van.
A custodian arrived at the Novato (Calif.) USD bus yard and spotted two people syphoning gasoline from storage tanks. He snapped photos as the pair fled in a box van.
NOVATO, Calif. — Police here are searching for two people who were seen stealing gasoline from a school bus yard on Wednesday.

When a custodian for Novato Unified School District arrived at the district bus yard late Wednesday night, he spotted a man and woman syphoning gasoline from the underground storage tanks that are used to fuel school buses and other district vehicles. As the suspects fled the scene in a white box van, the custodian was able to snap several photos with his cell phone.

Officers from the Novato Police Department responded to the scene at about 11:12 p.m. According to a police press release, the equipment used to syphon the gasoline suggests that the suspects’ vehicle was equipped with a large storage container or containers, which could be capable of holding hundreds of gallons of gasoline.

Novato Police Sgt. Robert Hill told the Marin Independent Journal that the suspects possibly stole up to 1,000 gallons of fuel. “In my experience, I’ve never seen a gas theft this big,” Hill told the newspaper.

According to the Novato Police Department press release, the driver was described as a Hispanic male in his 30s, bald and medium build. A passenger in the vehicle was described as a white female, blond hair and heavy set.

Another photo that the custodian took on his cell phone shows one of the suspects in their vehicle.
Another photo that the custodian took on his cell phone shows one of the suspects in their vehicle.
The Novato Police Department said that the vehicle appears to be a white Ford Econoline box van or something similar. A California license plate, number 7BQK347, is attached to the back of the vehicle, but police said that it may be a stolen plate.

Police also pointed out other details that may be helpful in identifying the vehicle: Written on the passenger door is “AUTOMATIC • A/C • SEATS 3,” along with a California declared weight sticker that has the number 15 displayed. Next to this sticker is written “UNDER 14,050 GROSS.”

The Novato Police Department is asking for the public's assistance in locating the vehicle and the suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call (415) 897-4361.

Related Topics: California, gasoline, law enforcement, school bus security

Thomas McMahon Executive Editor
Comments ( 2 )
  • BeeBopEh

     | about 11 days ago

    This story sounds rather dangerous. Gasoline is very volatile and it gives off fumes that can ignite in flash, often many feet away from the actual liquid. These bandits were fortunate to escape unharmed. Their efforts to steal the fuel also endangers others. Unbelievable

  • See all comments
More Stories
Photo by JD Hardin
Article

8 Keys to a Safe School Bus Operation

After a string of fatal crashes shook the industry, the time is ripe to refocus on the fundamentals of transportation management, from hiring the right people to putting the needs of children first.

Product

Video, Telematics System

SmartDrive video gives bus drivers and managers insight and analysis designed to help save fuel, reduce maintenance expenses, and improve driver behavior.

Be the First to Know

Get the latest news and most popular articles from SBF delivered straight to your inbox. Stay on top of the school bus industry and don't miss a thing!