Police: Man Trying To Steal Gas Passes Out And Causes Fuel Spill

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(Memphis) A suspected thief got creative trying to steal hundreds of gallons of fuel from a south Memphis gas station and ended up in the hospital.

Police have charged 47-year-old Edmon Reed with theft of property for trying to siphon gasoline from an underground tank at the Mapco on East Mallory.

Officers say they discovered the theft Thursday after firefighters were notified about a fuel spill there.

Workers inside the Mapco called the fire department after they noticed fuel leaking from a truck in their parking lot and onto the street.

When a Hazmat team arrived, they discovered a man unconscious inside the truck.

They also discovered he had been siphoning gas from an underground tank into his truck.

"As far as I know, he had drilled into the bottom of the truck and he stuck a hose down and he just pumped up the gas," said Curtis Ballard.

Curtis Ballard and Josh Parker were working at Lamb's Machine Works next door when it happened.

They snapped photos from their cell phones.

In one picture, you can see three large containers. Police say Reed was filling them with gas before he passed out.

"It just kept filling up until it ran across the road," said Parker.

At the time, Parker and Ballard didn't know where all the fuel was coming from or that someone was trying to steal it.

"He ought to be one of the dumbest criminals because it was a stupid thing to do," said Ballard.

They are just glad no one was hurt.

"He could have gotten a whole bunch of people killed if it blew up," said Ballard.

Police say Reed tried to siphon more than 800 gallons of gasoline worth around $2,100.

Fire officials say Reed was driving a work truck, but it turns out he doesn't work for that company.

Owners of the company say the truck was sold to a salvage yard a year ago.