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Police Arrest Man For Allegedly Drilling Hole In Truck To Steal Gas

(Photo by Tim Boyle/Getty Images)

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A Georgia man was arrested Wednesday after he allegedly tried to drill a hole in a U-Haul truck to steal its gas amidst the gas shortage, police said.

Jesse Smith, 25, was arrested and charged with criminal damage to property and theft by taking, the Griffin Police Department said.

Police received a call about a “significant fuel spill from a U-Haul truck” at a storage facility on Bowling Lane in Griffin. Police said the spill was because a fuel tank on a U-Haul truck was “punctured” and fuel had poured out. The fire department cleaned up the fuel spill.

“True story,” Police said Wednesday. “We have firefighters on scene cleaning up a gas spill after someone drilled holes into the gas tanks of parked Uhaul trucks. While we understand that there is a shortage on gas, we also want to remind everyone to exercise safety, patience and common sense.”

Investigators discovered photos and videos that showed Smith with a fuel can in the area and with the help of the community were able to identify Smith.

Charges are pending regarding the fuel spill, according to police. (RELATED: Experts Say There May Be An Impending Fuel Shortage On The East Coast)

Republican Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp declared a state of emergency on Tuesday along with the governors of North Carolina, Florida, and Virginia after the Colonial Pipeline was hacked, sparking gas shortages.

Kemp suspended the state’s gas taxes as more than 6% of Georgia gas stations lost fuel Tuesday.

The Colonial Pipeline, which transports about 45% of the oil used from states spanning Texas to New York, was hacked May 7. Panic buying and a decrease in supply led many stations to run out of gas by Tuesday morning.