Thursday, January 15, 2009

Police overestimate value of diesel stolen at Seattle terminal

SEATTLE, Wash. – Turns out Seattle police have trouble with zeroes. A theft of diesel fuel from a Seattle terminal, originally estimated at $20 million by police, should have been reported as $2 million, and even that number should have been closer to $1 million. 
Seattle police say someone installed a phony meter on a fuel-delivery system at the BP distribution center on Harbor Island, resulting in the theft of 350,000 gallons of diesel fuel over nearly a year.
According to the police report, a manager at the Harbor Island terminal in
Seattle reported earlier in January that the thefts had been discovered and were likely tied to similar losses reported at a BP distribution center in Long Beach, Calif.
Police said the terminal manager's staff uncovered a pattern of fuel losses and subsequently discovered that a fake meter had been installed in the facility's pump-delivery system. The manager reported that the fuel thief had apparently unscrewed a protective cap on the pump system, accessed the legitimate meter, replaced it with a phony meter and replaced the cap, police said.
Officials with BP PLC said about 350,000 gallons, valued at about $1 million, were stolen from the Seattle distribution center.

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