Gas Tank Drillings May Be Connected - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Gas Tank Drillings May Be Connected


Rochester, Minn. (KTTC) This past Saturday, a fire engulfed a vehicle at Truckin' America.

"The initial call was a gun shot in the area. While the caller was on the line they reported, now they see a big ball of flame behind Truckin' America," says Larry Mueller, Rochester Fire Department Assistant Fire Marshal.

The Rochester Fire Department says the fire likely stemmed from a gas tank drilling.

"There was a large pool of gasoline and the vehicle on fire and that fire, the radiating heat had attached to the she next store and that was also burning," says Mueller.

This is the fourth gas tank drilling reported in our area in almost two weeks.

"It is a relatively unique, unusual, crime. We haven't seen that before and to suddenly have 4 in a 2 week period, it seems likely that maybe they're related," says Lt. Dan Muyres, Rochester Police Department.

Another incident happened in the Kahler Hotel parking ramp over the weekend.

A man parked in the ramp overnight Friday and when he tried to drive his pickup, it quit on him.

Investigators say the thieves aren't using common sense.

"You know they're certainly putting their lives at risk and they're putting other people at risk so releasing fumes releasing gas," says Muyres.

In the Truckin' America incident, someone may have been injured.

"This happened really fast, there was a relatively large explosion associated with it. There is every possibility that some one did injure themselves attempting to take gas this way," says Mueller.

But the investigators found no new burn victims at the hospital Saturday night.

If anyone knows who may be involved in the gas drillings, please call the Arson hotline at 1-800-723-2020.

Tips that lead to an arrest could receive up to a $2,500 reward.

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