The recent meteoric rise in gas prices has put a strain on the pockets of motorists throughout North Carolina and around the country. With prices so high, the potential exists for criminals to devise methods for getting free gas and/or profiting from the exorbitant prices at the pump. This may have been what happened in Charlotte recently, and now several people face charges for stealing gasoline.
Incident details and arrests
On March 16, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police responded to a call at a Shell station on Sunset Road near I-77. The reason for the call is unclear, but detectives say they discovered that a group of individuals had somehow hacked one of the station’s gas pumps to make it appear as if it were offline to the station attendant. Reportedly, the individuals then pumped free gas into the cars of motorists and pocketed the money the drivers gave them for the gas.
Allegedly, more than 300 gallons of gas were distributed, valued at more than $1,000. One person was identified as the ringleader of the scam and was arrested. The accused is charged with a host of criminal offenses, including felony larceny, felony access to a computer to defraud and more. The report stated that authorities across the country are these types of crimes due to high gas prices.
Right to defense
No word was given as to how many others were purportedly involved in the scheme or what charges they face. Nevertheless, they and the supposed ringleader of the scam are all presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court. As such, each individual will want to work closely with an experienced criminal defense lawyer in North Carolina to increase the chances of obtaining the most successful outcome possible.