Thieves target propane tanks

July 23, 2008 3:27:59 PM PDT
Propane tanks weighing more than a ton are nowhere to be found, and police in south Jersey are very concerned about what some thieves plan to do with them. The tanks disappeared from a business called Energy Resources on Route 130 in Willingboro.

"We came in this morning and walked over and the gate was wide open. The chain was broken open, and this is all empty," said Brandon Merksamer of Energy Resources.

Stolen from this locked fenced area, 30 to 40 industrial sized propane tanks.

Larger and heavier than those used with gas grills, they are like the one powering this forklift. Inside those tanks, flammable and potentially explosive petroleum gas.

"We realized it's all full tanks, and we're worried about terrorists and things like that, then the cops came and they were trying to figure out different ideas."

A motive is anyone's guess. It could be to cause havoc or just simple larceny to sell the tanks and fuel to somebody who doesn't ask many questions.

"Take it to a construction site, sell it to the foreman there, I mean there's always different places you can sell that stuff for. $250 a tank for a new one, they could buy a used one, $100, they're doing pretty good if there's 40 tanks," said Merksamer.

Reportedly both the department of Homeland Security and the FBI have been notified of the theft. It's not clear if authorities have any suspects.

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