Two northeastern states have legislation up for
consideration that is intended to get tough with people who fill up their fuel
tanks and drive off without paying, commonly referred to as “drive-offs,” “pump
and run,” or “gas and go.”
In Pennsylvania, Sen. Richard Kasunic, D-Fayette, has
offered a measure that is intended to curb the problem in the state by costing
fuel thieves their driver’s licenses.
“As (fuel) prices continue to go up, this kind of theft is
becoming a bigger problem,” Kasunic said in a written statement. “It hurts
station owners, and ultimately it hurts law abiding (drivers) who have to pay
higher prices at the pump to make up for what these thieves are stealing.”
The bill – SB1294 – would impose a 30-day driver’s license
suspension for the first conviction of stealing fuel. Second offenses would
result in loss of driving privileges for 60 days. The punishment would be
extended to one year for third or subsequent offenses. Fines could total $250.
Existing Pennsylvania law doesn’t allow for loss of driving
privileges on the first or second offense. Third offenses result in only 30 day
A similar effort has been offered in New Jersey.
Sen. Joe Kyrillos, R-Monmouth, introduced the bill that
would increase the penalties for stealing fuel.
Anyone found to have stolen fuel would face fines and
possible prison time. The most serious offense would be five years in prison
for the theft of 10,000 gallons or more.
Kyrillos’ bill – S595 – is in the Senate Transportation