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. 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.