PORTLAND – A man siphoning diesel from a North Portland truck was caught on tape after the business set up cameras to combat persistent fuel thieves.
Clint Saunders is the manager for the North Portland branch of a paper shredding company Cintas. He said fuel thieves have sucked diesel fuel from the company’s trucks four times this year.
On Saturday, a Cintas driver was headed to a paper shredding event at the Beaverton Police Department but when he started he started his truck up there was no fuel.
But Saunders had set up cameras in the parking lot and caught the petrol pilferer on tape.
Surveillance video from just after 2 a.m. Saturday morning showed a man backing up his pick up, grabbing a gas can and a hose and siphoning diesel fuel from the truck.
In the video there are a few times when cars drive down Marine Drive and the man ducks to hide, all the while unaware he was already seen on camera.
He stole about 50 gallons of diesel fuel. And it wasn’t the first time. Saunders’ estimated the thief has sucked away 650 gallons of fuel from the company over the last several months.
“So far, it’s about $2,500 worth between the four different instances between September and December,” Saunders said. "It’s very frustrating. I mean, diesel’s at nearly $4 a gallon. It’s a huge financial hit for our location."
Saunders hopes the video will help him catch the thief.
"I hope somebody will recognize the truck or the person that was going back and forth filling the gas cans and call Portland Police and give them a tip,” Saunders said.