A Georgia man drilled into the fuel tanks of parked U-Haul trucks in an attempt to get gas, police say

·2 min read

A Georgia man decided to skip the long lines forming outside gas stations in the wake of the Colonial Pipeline cyberattack and stop by a line of parked U-Hauls instead.

A 25-year-old man drilled holes in the fuel tanks of multiple U-Haul trucks Wednesday, spilling 35 to 45 gallons of gas, the Griffin Police Department said.

Dozens of firefighters cleaned up the "hazardous" gas spill in the rain Wednesday night as police searched for the suspect, officials said.

Surveillance images, some of which were shared on the department's Facebook, show a suspect with a fuel can walking near what is thought to be his red truck, according to police. Residents used the images to help investigators identify a suspect, who was arrested and charged with theft and damage to property.

"So while you're creating a hazardous material spill, for 5 gallons of gasoline and cause firefighters to have to work in the rain, we appreciate you parking your truck behind the KFC where we can obtain a photo of your (getaway) vehicle," a Facebook post from the department said. "Also, the shots of you walking around the U-Haul trucks are helpful."

The police department urged residents to "exercise safety, patience and common sense" in another Facebook post. The incident comes in the wake of a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline that temporarily disrupted the transportation of fuel in the Southeast, threatening to cause short-term gas shortages.

"The shortage is temporary and we anticipate the gas stations returning to full operations soon," police said. "In the meantime, remain calm and don't do anything to endanger yourself and others."

While experts and government officials have urged calm and Colonial Pipeline said it has resumed operations, chaos has continued in some parts of the country.

Colonial Pipeline shutdown: Expect gas shortages to go away by Memorial Day, expert says

Gasoline in plastic bags? Panic buying after Colonial Pipeline cyberattack won't solve the problem, experts say.

Panic buyers have formed long lines stretching around gas stations. Officials have warned against filling plastic bags with gasoline. A fight ensued after a woman allegedly crashed into another car and spit at a driver at a North Carolina gas station, local media reported.

Contact News Now Reporter Christine Fernando at cfernando@usatoday.com or follow her on Twitter at @christinetfern.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Man drills into U-Haul fuel tanks, causes spill, Georgia police say

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting