CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The price of gasoline is dropping - in some places, it's well under $2 a gallon. But recently, a number of people have filled up for as little as five bucks a tank. How?
It's a gas scam and here's how it works:
"They're going up to the pump and unlocking the pump door," said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police (CMPD) Officer Tori Roddey.
We have surveillance video from the 7-Eleven store on Eastway Drive. It shows a black sedan filling up. When it pulls out, a white SUV quickly pulls in and tops off the tank.
"Inside the pump door is a small pin, and they pull the pin out which releases the fuel and they're getting unlimited fuel," Officer Roddey said.
And it's happening right under the clerk's nose, without them noticing.
Roddey said, "We're talking over $7,000."
Eight of the ten thefts have happened at 7-Eleven stores, which gives police a lead.
"We're assuming somebody has worked for somebody that was able to get a pump key, or stole a pump key," Officer Roddey explained.
But this gas scam isn't limited to those who concocted it. They are filling their cars up, and then they're allowing other people to get gas, re-selling what they've just stolen.
"People are coming up giving them a little money and they're filling up the tank," Roddey said. "South Carolina's got gas for $1.80, but you can't beat a $5 fillip anywhere."
As for suspects - police say those two vehicles and the two men have been seen at all ten gas thefts. One is a heavy-set man with long dreadlocks. The other is older, thinner and shorter.
If you have been approached about buying really cheap gas, call Crime Stoppers at 704-334-1600 and earn cash to buy gas the honest way.