A Lincoln gas station has successfully addressed a loophole that enabled an individual to obtain thousands of gallons of fuel without payment.

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Stealing Gas Stright From The Pump

Dawn Thompson, 45, is facing a charge of theft by unlawful taking exceeding $5,000. Law enforcement alleges that she exploited a loophole to access complimentary gas for over six months.

On October 20, 2023, Lincoln Police received a call from Bosselman Enterprise's loss prevention manager, who was alerted by the Pump and Pantry near West O Street and Sun Valley Boulevard about an ongoing fuel scam.

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Read More: Nebraska Man Booked After Stealing Ambulance, Police Chase

How Did Her Scam Work?

Upon investigation, authorities discovered that the fuel pumps had undergone a software update in November 2022, aimed at managing orders and reward cards based on customer and staff requests.

However, unbeknownst to the company, the update had a vulnerability. It permitted individuals to swipe a rewards card twice, triggering the pump to enter a demo mode, and allowing users to pump gas without charge.

The loss prevention manager identified a specific card that had been consistently used for free gas. Through tracing the card's information, the police identified Thompson, as indicated in court records.

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Video Footage Catches The Theif

Video footage revealed multiple instances of Thompson pumping fuel into her vehicle. Police believe the fuel theft occurred between November 13, 2022, and June 1, 2023, with the rewards card being used 510 times during that period, totaling an estimated 7,413.59 gallons of gasoline. The calculated losses amounted to approximately $27,860.27, based on an average fuel cost of $3.758 per gallon.

Custody And Court


Court records also indicated another individual using the card in 2023, claiming that Thompson allowed her to use it for "discounted fuel." The arrangement involved the woman paying Thompson for the card's use, resulting in payments totaling $500 for $700 worth of gas over ten uses.

The woman stated that Thompson sold the card in June 2023. The fuel loophole was resolved on June 1, 2023, according to police reports.

Thompson was taken into custody on March 6 following a prolonged investigation. Her arraignment took place on Thursday, and as of Friday, she was not listed in the Lancaster County jail's inmate roster. Thompson's bond was set at 10% of $7,500, and her next court hearing is scheduled for April 11.

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LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.

Gallery Credit: Sophia Crisafulli


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