Social media helps Niles PD in gas pump break

Niles gas pump lost when man drives off with it

NILES, Ohio (WKBN) – Sunday night, someone at a Niles gas station drove off with a gas nozzle still inserted in the car’s tank.

“He got back in his car put his seat belt on pulled away and forgot that the hose was still attached to the car,” Niles Police Captain Ken Criswell said.

When the driver took off, the hose snapped, spraying some gasoline. The driver never stopped. Classy Clean BP Owner Christina Fonagy said that if the hose hadn’t broken away, or things could have been a lot worse.

“So after 300 pounds of pressure, it breaks away. We are not sure if there is anything going on inside,” Fonagy said. “It looks fine. Last night, we checked. It was fine, but we are going to have a professional come out and look at it.”

After the incident, Fonagy pored through the surveillance tape to find a license plate but was unable to do so. So she took to Facebook and posted pictures of the man from when he walked into the store. Over nine thousand people viewed the pictures.

Early Monday afternoon, the man returned the pump, then quickly left again.

Criswell said posting surveillance pictures on social media helps solve cases quickly.

“They are very helpful and these cases, many times within 20 to 30 minutes we get tips and these cases are solved,” Criswell said.

As for this case, the driver is still facing charges and will have to pay for the damage to the pump.

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