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Thieves Get Away With $20,000 Worth Of Diesel Fuel

BALTIMORE COUNTY, Md. (WJZ) -- It's not your normal theft. About $20,000 worth of diesel fuel is stolen from a Baltimore County business.

Despite the crooks' best efforts, the getaway is caught on tape.

Rochelle Ritchie explains why this particular crime is bringing in the FBI.

As we all know, diesel fuel is highly flammable, and if in the wrong hands, can be dangerous or even deadly.

Baltimore County Police need your help finding out who is behind the wheel of a white box truck, believed to be carrying 5,000 gallons of stolen diesel fuel.

"If we have a vehicle description, that is helpful. But that doesn't give us the name of the suspects in many cases," said Cpl. Cathy Batton, Baltimore County Police.

The $20,000 worth of fuel stolen out of a tank at the Warthen Fuel Company on Benson Road. It happened within an hour.

The owner, Danny Warthen, believes the theft was done by a group of skilled rookies who knew what they wanted and how to get it.

"They'd probably have taken more if they had a vehicle capable of taking more," Warthen said.

Investigators believe the diesel thieves cut a hole in a fence at a next door business to run a hose to the tank at the back of Warthen's property.

The thieves then pumped the fuel into another tank hidden inside the box truck.

Warthen says the thieves used one of his 15 foot tank sticks in order to attach a garbage bag on the end. He says the thieves then raised it all the way up to a surveillance camera to hide their crime.

Surveillance video shows a white bag being put over a surveillance camera at the next door business where the getaway truck was parked. But thanks to Mother Nature, the wind blew the bag off just as the truck was leaving.

Still, the grainy video makes it difficult to make out a license plate or any markings on the truck to help identify it.

"We don't have any suspect information at this time. And we're asking anyone with information to contact the
Baltimore County Police Department," Batton said.

Warthen says the monetary loss is significant, but the loss of security is greater.

"Between Monday night, last night and this whole week, we've been terrified that they may come back," said Warthen.

Baltimore County police are looking at other surveillance cameras from other nearby businesses.

The company is also upgrading its security measures.

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