Gas-thieving trucker traveling in rogue big-rig raises flag

Posted at 5:56 PM, Apr 09, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-09 17:56:24-04

EMPORIA, Va. (WTVR) – The general manager of a Florida truck stop said the trucker who stole $1,500 worth of fuel from a Virginia truck stop hit her business too.

The manager of Simmons Travel Plaza in Emporia, off Interstate 95 near the Virginia-North Carolina line, said a truck driver pulled up to the pumps Sunday, spent 25 minutes filling multiple fuel tanks and then drove off without paying the $1,500 tab.

CBS 6 was curious how the truck is getting by with so many interstate weigh stations and licenses required for truckers.

Typically, a big rig has a series of letters and numbers stuck onto both sides.

"The name and DOT number are required," said Tom Maxwell, with the Virginia State Police Motor Carrier Unit. "This is a fuel permit they have to have this and this is another state, Kentucky, they do this specific, this is Ontario, so they can run out of the country."

Truckers say they're the back bone of this country, hauling more than 67 percent of the freight, and here on Interstate 95 -- which cuts across the eastern United States -- as many as 31,000 traverse the road on any given day.

And most, officials said, have the proper identification.

"He makes it bad for the guy that's out there trying to do the right thing," said Tyrone Calhoun, professional truck driver.

Security cameras shows that the truck driver in question pulled off the heists with no information on the sides.

"We don't see that often," Maxwell said.

Some drivers, like Mike Slansky, prefer to give trucks without identification a wide berth.

"You never know what they're up to, or who they are or what they are hauling," Slansky said.

While it's not often you see a big truck with no name or numbers, it may not be illegal, but it can raise a red flag. Especially if they try to bypass a weigh station.

"It could be hours of service, it could be equipment, licensing problems," Maxwell said.

The fuel theft still has truckers calling both truck stops, if they spot a similar rig.

"The truck drivers out there are still looking for him, they are bothered by the whole incident, just like everybody else," said Tony Moore, Simmons Travel Center.