Nebraska Police Targeting Pump Scofflaws

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Nebraska Police Targeting Pump Scofflaws

OMAHA, Neb. -- Omaha investigators are trying to reduce the number of people who drive off without paying for gasoline. Police officers used a video camera this summer to catch thefts on tape, and the enforcement will continue for several more months.

More people are driving off without paying for their gas, and that concerns gas station owners. "People who leave the stores do so in a fashion that could cause accidents," said Quik Trip supervisor Dave Conner. "Safety is one of our most serious concerns."

Police realize there are more serious crimes, but officers say letting people get away with this sends the wrong message, the Associated Press reported. "It is a big deal," said Capt. Eric Buske. "It's a financial loss to the businesses. It's a misdemeanor where you can get six months in jail."

There are several gas stations around Omaha where customers have to pay first, but not all business owners like to do that. Some feel it's an inconvenience to their customers.

Some businesses opt for security instead. Quik Trip, for example, is installing a new camera system that can zoom in to capture license plate numbers.