MOORHEAD, Minn. (AP) — Starting Monday, Moorhead police are stepping up enforcement of gas drive-offs.

Until about 10 years ago, Moorhead police like other Minnesota law enforcement agencies would respond to calls of gas drive-offs. But limited police resources were being used to collect payment, so the Minnesota Legislature passed a law allowing civil remedies for station owners.

But the recent sharp rise in gas prices is leading to more gas drive-offs. So Moorhead police say they’ll now respond to gas drive-offs if asked.

Suspects can face criminal charges with a fine, restitution and possible suspension of driving privileges. Or offenders may be asked to accompany the officer back to the gas station to pay for their gas along with a $30 service charge.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (5)
  1. Jordan says:

    Just make everything prepay or pay at the pump. It is a civil issue, when the cashier approves the sale (ie you press “pay inside” and are allowed to pump gas before you pay) then it becomes an agreement between you and the store that you will go inside and pay. Yes, theft is wrong, but the time it takes for officers to investigate this is waste, not to mention how hard it is to prove the criminal side of it (“oh I just forgot to go pay” or “the stupid cashier didn’t ring it up with the rest of the stuff I bought inside the store” or “I swiped my card, it must not have worked!”). It would be solved if you were just required to prepay or use a credit card.

    1. Prose Dreams says:

      I complete agree. That would solve this entire problem. If you don’t have the cash for gas, you shouldn’t be out driving.

    2. dan says:

      obviously do not work in industry, it is no better than someone who takes something from target or walmart …. usually a bigger ticket. Shoplifting/stealing is a crime and should be pursued by the authorities as such. If someone steals, they have to pay restituition, this is no different.

  2. chimp says:

    Prepay is awful, and i never use my debit card at the pump either, I just wish all these losers who cant pay for their gas would just stay home and rot, theyre useless human beings anyway, because of them i have to go in and prepay.

  3. Keeping it real in Minnesota says:

    Gas is probably the cheapest product we buy when you compare pricing over the last 30 years………the people who drive off can’t afford their gas because they bought beer and cigarettes…….

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