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Vernon Parish business owners report missing fuel grade indicators

Published: Nov. 1, 2021 at 8:34 PM CDT
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LEESVILLE, La. (KALB) - A new Tik-Tok challenge has Vernon Parish gas stations in a frenzy. According to the Vernon Parish Sheriff’s Office, octane buttons from gas pumps have started to go missing for the past week and this means a lack of income from the pumps.

“It’s costing these convenient store owners, gas stations lots of money and those things - they’re telling me - are becoming hard to come by,” Chief Calvin Turner said. “There’s a shortage of them across the country I guess. This has been going on and distributors, suppliers...it’s taking them a while to get replacement buttons.”

These acts of theft and vandalism are costly for local businesses because they must buy new buttons and lose income from gas in the process. The Leesville Police Department said they haven’t heard of any gas pump indicator thefts in Leesville, but will be monitoring the situation closely. The sheriff’s office has suspects, but they don’t have enough evidence to make any arrests. They are also trying to ID some vehicles that were caught on surveillance footage, but it’s hard to make out the plate number. The sheriff said the suspects caught will face serious charges regardless of their age.

”Juveniles, you know, that’s a problem within its self. Monetarily they can be responsible for all the damages and if we’re able to calculate the cost of the lost income or lost fuel sales for the station owner. So, just because it’s a juvenile they’re still going to find themselves in a position they don’t want to be in.”

Parents and guardians are being asked to warn their kids about being influenced to commit crimes like these through social media.

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