Gas Theft Suspect Caught on Surveillance Video Catching Himself on Fire

A suspected gas thief in Utah was captured on surveillance video catching himself on fire after allegedly using a drill in an attempt to siphon gas from a truck.

The alleged heist and its fiery conclusion played out in the parking lot of Summit Fire and Protection, Salt Lake City NBC affiliate KSL-TV reported Tuesday morning. The incident follows other reports across the country of people hatching extraordinary schemes to siphon gas amid record-high fuel prices.

Previously, Summit Fire and Protection, a company that sells fire safety products and services, had already been targeted after one of its truck's had its gas siphoned and its catalytic converter stolen, reports KSL-TV.

Another alleged thief attempted to steal gas from the company's truck Saturday morning, using a drill on the vehicle's tank after the siphon wouldn't work, the company's branch manager Travis Mills told the station.

Gas Pump
An alleged thief was captured on surveillance video setting themselves on fire after drilling a hole into a truck to siphon gas. A gas pump is pictured at a Chevron gas station on June 9, 2022, in Houston, Texas. Brandon Bell/Getty Images

Surveillance video of the incident shows flames near the rear of the truck before a man with his shirt on fire fled the vehicle, dropping to roll on the parking lot to stop the blaze. With the fire extinguished, a pickup truck arrived for the man, according to the station.

"The reason why he's fleeing is that, if there were more gas in it than a gallon, this thing would have absolutely turned into a bomb," Mills told the station. "It's sad because times are tough for a lot of people, but it's not worth the $5 that he would have saved for the injury that the guy sustained."

The average price for a gallon of gas in the U.S. is currently over $5 a gallon, according to the American Automobile Association, with Utah near the national average.

With gas prices high, alleged thieves have taken on more risks to get the increasingly valuable fuel. The American Association of Poison Control Centers earlier this spring warned would-be thieves of the risk of poisoning from siphoning gas.

In Florida, a group of alleged fuel thieves used a "homemade device" to steal $60,000 worth of gasoline. A gas station in Houston reported thieves stealing more than 1,000 gallons of fuel from underground storage tanks over the course of three days.

"Unfortunately, given the gas prices in the valley and nationwide, we are seeing an increase in gas thefts," Tony Allred, division chief of the Salt Lake City fire marshal, told KSL-TV.

He described drilling into a tank as "extraordinarily dangerous," saying it could cause an explosion for a "for a very low return."

Authorities have not identified the suspect or charges.

Newsweek reached out to the Office of the Fire Marshal for comment.