New Castle County, Del. (WTXF) - Some underground gas storage tanks now have locks beneath the surface cover. They've been installed since the arrest of 34-year-old Vincent Chinn who police say stole thousands of gallons of fuel from several Shell gas stations around New Castle County.
“I was just so surprised like how could somebody just like steal gas and get away with it?" said Kenisha Jones. But Wilmington PD and Delaware State Police say Chinn did get it away with it until Thursday morning. They say Chinn would strike in the early morning hours between 1:30 and 4:30.
Jones works at the Shell in Bear, Delaware.
"Them things down there are heavy to actually pick it up and to lift it up to go down into the hole is heavy," said Jones. She says store surveillance cameras captured the suspect on the property.
"We actually got the guy walking around as he was pumping the gas and talking on the phone," she said.
Delaware State Police say on July 5th Chinn syphoned 661 gallons of gas from the Shell on Summit Bridge Road in Middletown worth $$2,267.23. Then on July 10th 416 gallons from the Shell on Pulaski Highway in Bear worth $1,345.24. They say on July 15th the suspect hit Shell gas in Middletown again. This time for 666 gallons worth $2,364.30.
He’s also suspected of stealing fuel from Shell on South Walnut Street in Wilmington.
"That's pretty crazy what I just heard. Somebody stealing gas like that?" said Rodney Collier. Another customer said, “Nothing surprises me these days."
Investigators say the suspect drove a Dodge Ram pickup truck with a utility trailer attached to the back where he would transfer the gas to plastic tanks.
Chinn who is from Philadelphia was arrested in the area of the Wilmington location around four o’clock Thursday morning. He's been charged and was released on $6100 unsecured bond.