Quantcast

Dozens of propane tanks stolen from Gadsden stores - abc27 WHTM

Dozens of propane tanks stolen from Gadsden stores

Posted: Updated:
GADSDEN, Ala. -

As news broke last week about a propane shortage, some people turned to illegal avenues to get it.

Gadsden police said thieves stole several dozen tanks from gas station convenience stores and a pair of Dollar Generals.

Property crimes investigator Patrick Chumley said someone cut the locks on the cages that house the tanks.

"I never had anything like this come up before," Chumley said.

"Usually people that need it--it's plentiful and cheap--they're usually able to get it legally.  I've never had them steal propane before."

Chumley said even people who use propane for illegal activities tend to buy it from a store.  Investigators initially suspected these thefts were for criminal use.

"At first I thought they were probably being used at a meth lab or maybe moonshining operations," he said.

"But after we found out about the governor calling the state of emergency for the shortage of propane and [liquefied petroleum] gas, we pretty much figured some people are stealing it just to stay warm."

That might explain the theft of two tanks from one store on Gilberts Ferry Road.  It is less likely that the 18 tanks taken from a Shell service station on Noccalula Road are for personal use.

Chumley said the people who took the tanks are probably reselling them.  However, police informants said they have not yet heard of any instances of street-level propane sales.

So far there are no leads.  The thieves avoided being caught on tape.    

"The only thing I could suggest to the store owners and everything is keep a camera on it so we might be able to get an image of somebody so we could put it out and maybe find who's stealing it," Chumley said.

Investigators said the culprits are keeping their thefts to misdemeanor amounts.  A new or spare tank of propane costs on average about $50, while a refill or exchange for a new tank costs $20 to $25.  Chumley said in totaling the amount stolen, police can only count the trade-in value, and it takes $500 for a felony case.

  • Anniston - Gadsden Area NewsMore>>

  • Civil War movie "Union" filming in Montevallo

    Civil War movie "Union" filming in Montevallo

    Saturday, April 19 2014 11:52 PM EDT2014-04-20 03:52:27 GMT
    An independent film crew is in Montevallo this weekend to shoot scenes for an upcoming feature.The movie is titled "Union" and is about a "female" confederate soldier in the civil war.Whitney Hamilton wrote the screenplay. She said she wrote a play about a decade ago that told the story of Joan of Arc, and wanted to write another script about some female combatants from the United States.She researched the subject and learned more than 400 women disguised themselves as men during the Civil Wa...More >>
    An independent film crew is in Montevallo this weekend to shoot scenes for an upcoming feature.The movie is titled "Union" and is about a "female" confederate soldier in the civil war.Whitney Hamilton wrote the screenplay. She said she wrote a play about a decade ago that told the story of Joan of Arc, and wanted to write another script about some female combatants from the United States.She researched the subject and learned more than 400 women disguised themselves as men during the Civil Wa...More >>
  • Active shooter drill and training at Etowah County Judicial Center

    Active shooter drill and training at Etowah County Judicial Center

    Friday, April 18 2014 7:04 PM EDT2014-04-18 23:04:12 GMT
    Etowah County Judicial Center staff barricaded themselves in their offices Friday morning, as security deputies searched for armed intruders. The guns were bright orange and solid rubber, as the scenarioMore >>
    Etowah County Judicial Center staff barricaded themselves in their offices Friday morning, as security deputies searched for armed intruders. The guns were bright orange and solid rubber, as the scenarioMore >>
  • Active shooter drill in Etowah County today

    Active shooter drill in Etowah County today

    Friday, April 18 2014 5:22 AM EDT2014-04-18 09:22:38 GMT
    An active shooter drill will take place at the Etowah County Courthouse Friday, April 18, 2014.It's part of training for law enforcement. A full-scale simulation of an active shooter inside the JudicialMore >>
     A full-scale simulation of an active shooter inside the Judicial Building will allow law enforcement officers to prepare for a real life situation.More >>
Most Popular
Stories
Videos
loading...
Powered by WorldNow