A Curious Combustible Caper …

Operators at an Open Pantry convenience store in Wauwatosa, Wis., are trying to figure out how 5,000 gallons of gas – about $20,000 worth – has come up missing from their store, TMJ 4 news in Milwaukee reported.

Police, too, are trying to determine if someone took the gas. Workers at the store said almost 5,000 gallons of gas has gone missing within a month.

Customer Ron Kempski says he can’t figure it out. “I am astounded. I can’t believe that,” Kempski told the news station.

Kempski said he buys gas at the Open Pantry on Bluemound all the time, and can’t understand how 5,000 gallons of gas could just disappear. “Where do you put it right? Tanks aren’t that big,” he said.

The manager at the store said they first noticed gas was missing in July. He told police he believes someone found a way to rig the premium pumps, which allowed them to get more gas than they paid for.

At almost $4 a gallon, the loss amounts to just about $20,000.

“That’s a lot of gas. You’d think they’d find it somewhere,” Kempski said.

Police say they are working the case and it’s a mystery to them where the gas went. In the meantime, the owner says they’re checking their equipment to make sure it doesn’t happen again.

Police say they’ll bring in investigators from the Department of Transportation to check the pumps to make sure they’re working properly. They say they don’t recall a time when so much gas was stolen from a gas station.

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