The truck was found around 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in the 6800 block of Greenway Avenue.
Officer Chris Ficchi of the 12th district was starting his shift and he had just read an article about the stolen tanker on 6abc's phone application when he spotted the truck.
"I happened to be on it. I'm on it often," Ficchi said.
He then called into authorities to notify them on the location.
Homeland Security Unit responded as a precaution, but officers quickly determined the stolen truck was in no way connected to terrorism, but appears to be a case of theft.
"We always have to keep that it in the back of our mind, but at this particular point in time, there's no reason to believe it's anything more than a theft. Obviously, gasoline is a very valuable commodity today and that seems to be the motive here," Philadelphia Police Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan said.
Officials say the truck holds about 3,000 gallons of gasoline worth an estimated $12, 000.
The company that owns the tanker, Alger Oil, is based in Maryland, but service parts of northern Delaware and southern Pennsylvania.
Officers believe the thieves likely left the truck where it was found, between a church and an abandoned factory, because the area is not too busy. One theory is the thieves parked it then were in the process of trying to sell it.
"We will process it for fingerprints and other forensic evidence and will communicate with our colleagues in Maryland and we'll go from there," Sullivan said.
The truck stolen overnight between September 12th and September 13th.
Police have no suspects. The truck has been towed back to Maryland.