23 Aug 2014
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Post-Sandy 'Panic' Leads to Gas Thefts in Jefferson

With long lines at the pump, three fuel thefts and siphoning reported in Lake Hopatcong area.

Post-Sandy 'Panic' Leads to Gas Thefts in Jefferson

Police said there were three three gas-related thefts in the township during the week after Hurricane Sandy, as thousands across the state waited in hour-long lines and struggled to find an open station in the storm's aftermath. 

Capt. Eric Wilsusen said that although only three incidents were reported, there could have been more.

"Everyone was going crazy with the gas situation," he said. "There were a lot of rumors that people were siphoning gas."

Wilsusen said the first reported incident was on Nov. 1, just three days after Sandy, when an Oakwood Drive resident reported that an individual was trying to steal gas from a parked vehicle.

On Nov. 4, the day after gas rationing began, Wilsusen said a resident reported an individual stole two 5-gallon gas cans from a unlocked garage on West Dewey Avenue.

And on Nov. 5, there was a report of an individual attempting to siphon gas from a vehicle on Ripple Wood drive, Wilsusen said.

Wilsusen said although all of the reports were in the Lake Hopatcong section of town, police don't believe they are connected because the streets aren't close to each other.

"I just think everyone was in a panic over the gas situation," he said.

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