Thieves use electric drill to drain gas tanks

by: Kerry Kavanaugh Updated:

Brenda Shearer said her full tank of gas was gone before her pickup truck even left her driveway on Green Turf Drive.

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. - Police believe thieves used an electric drill to drain gas tanks in Gwinnett County.

A trio is suspected of hitting several Snellville neighborhoods.

Brenda Shearer said her full tank of gas was gone before her pickup truck even left her driveway on Green Turf Drive.

"We had just filled it up two days before with 80 bucks worth of gas,” she said.

Shearer said the first clue someone stole the gas was a strong gasoline odor the morning of Aug. 31. When the tank read empty, she looked under the car and found puddles of gas and a tiny hole in the tank.

"They just drained it all out. They even took one of our gas cans," Shearer said.

Tinell Lindsey said someone also drilled a hole into his neighbor's gas tank on Emerson Lake Circle late last month.

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"Ever since then, I think everyone has been backing their cars down into the garage and keeping an eye out," Tinell said. "It is very bold."

Channel 2 Action News obtained police reports for gas stolen from two tanks parked in the same driveway on Overwood Lane. Snellville police believe 18-year-old Steven Turner is connected to all of the thefts.

"They were primarily in his subdivision,” Detective Orlando Concepcion told Channel 2’s Kerry Kavanaugh.

He said he found several empty gas canisters and an electric drill at Turner's home.

"I recovered the drill, and I smelled it. It was just a strong odor of gasoline," Concepcion said.

Lindsey said, "Be smart is what I say. You got sparks, heat, and gasoline, not a good idea.”

Police said Turner wasn't working alone. Turner and 20-year-old Alejandro Jimenez were charged with felony criminal property damage. Police are still looking for a third suspect, 18-year-old Brandon Miller.

"We were glad that they caught them before they did blow something up," Shearer said.