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California sees record gas prices as police deal with fuel bandits

California gas prices hit record highs, and police have been dealing with scattered cases in recent weeks of gas thieves.

California's average gasoline price set a record Saturday of $4.614 for a gallon of regular, up 12.8 cents overnight. Several service stations are charging more than $5 a gallon for regular gasoline.

Last month, police in the Antelope Valley were looking for thieves who stole gas from car and truck rental agencies.

Now, Police in Roseville are looking for gasoline thieves who struck two stations, taking nearly 1,000 gallons of the increasingly expensive fuel.

California's average gasoline price set a record Saturday of $4.614 for a gallon of regular, up 12.8 cents overnight. Several service stations are charging more than $5 a gallon for regular gasoline.

All the gas was stolen this week from a Shell station near the Roseville Square shopping center. And a few days earlier, thieves had made made an unsuccessful attempt at a 76 station a few blocks away, Fox40 in Sacramento reported.

According to the manager of the Shell station, a man in a black pickup pumped 300 gallons of gas, some of it going to a tank in the pickup's bed. It happened around 1:30 a.m., when the convenience store was closed.

Why are gas prices so high?

But security cameras caught the thief using a credit card. The pump's meter was somehow disabled, and the manager had to check records to show that the gas was taken.

The same people came back during store hours twice, taking 350 gallons on both occasions. Each time there was no indication behind the counter that gas was being pumped. 

Gasoline prices skyrocketed after the Exxon Mobil refinery in Torrance was knocked offline Monday by a power outage. Other lingering refinery and pipeline problems also contributed to the soaring costs at the pump.

ALSO: 

Costco works to get its gas stations restocked

Economists warn about the effect of soaring gas prices

Does $5 gas = buy a hybrid or electric car? A cost/benefit analysis

--From A Times Staff Writer

 
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