By Victor Lopez
LAMESA--The process varied from victim to victim, but the basic story was the same. He would swipe his card, lift the handle, and pump the gas.
Money changed hands, gas tanks were filled and everyone is happy, everyone except C&C oil Company.
Lamesa Police Detective Larry Flenniken told NewsWest 9, "This is 20 thousand dollars worth of gas in over a four month period of time."
It was a simple, cash for gas, arrangement.
Flenniken said, "This person or persons, started selling this gas. In other words, they would contact several different people, and say they were in some kind of need for money."
The victims involved were unaware they were even doing anything wrong.
He added, "These people didn't know what was going on. Probably trying to help out this person or people, thinking they were doing a good deed."
It was a pre-existing glitch in the software of a gas or pre-paid credit card. Somebody happened to find it, and took advantage of it.
Over the course of three to four months, and at various locations, the scenario unfolded, time and time again.
According to the Detective, "It was four months before they actually got it fixed. They thought they had it fixed at one time, but the glitch still appeared, and they still lost some more over the next month."
Lamesa Police are asking anyone who may have bought gas in this manner, to please contact them, and tell them about their experience.
Since the investigation began, some people have already come forward. And the stories they gave are remarkably similar, which is a good break for investigators.
Flenniken remarked, "We're getting almost the exact same stories from almost everybody I've talked to so far. That's holding true to form. And if it continues to hold true to form, this case should be wrapped up pretty quick."