With yet another spike in gas prices expected,  theives in Tampa came up with an ingenious way to try to steal fuel

Tampa police thwarted the attempt of theives to steal several hundred gallons of gas from a gas station near a mall in the city Tuesday night.  But it wasn't your typical fuel and dash.   In fact, the criminals would have probably gotten away with it except that a sherriff's deputy noticed a blue minivan parked at what was described as an "odd angle" in the lot of the station.   He turned around and pulled in to investigate.

   When he pulled up next to the minivan,  suddenly several men jumped out and fled.  Inside the van, the officer found a large barrel sized hole had been cut in the floor, and the van was equipped with a complete siphoning system-pump, hoses and a large plastic tank.  The theives had driven onto the lot, lifted the cover off the underground fuel tank,  removed the lid, and were nearly finished siphoning several hundred gallons of fuel!   In fact, the pump was still running, and just after the officer looked inside, the plastic tank overflowed.   Hazmat teams were called to clean up several dozen gallons that spilled.

  Officials were amazed at the sophistication of the setup.   The van was a typical non-descript vehicle much like what you would see on the street; even if you looked underneath, the theives had outfitted it with a cover to conceal the hole in the floor.   While this burglary was broken up,  Tampa officials and those in other cities are now going to be on watch for similar incidents because they are sure it will happen again.   Especially in Florida, where gas prices have never been higher this early in the year-ever.