COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — Between employee embezzlement and thefts of cigarettes, Columbus gas stations lost more than $51,000 in the first half of 2022, according to police reports.
The hardest hit was Turkey Hill on North High Street, where, on Jan. 18, police reports show an employee had embezzled money orders worth $8,023.
Four days later, on Jan. 22, managers at the same North High Street location reported to police that $25,298 disappeared from the books. Two employees activated gift cards and handed them to other patrons of the store without receiving payment, the police report said.
The largest gift card given out was $12,062 for One4All, an online store that allows shopping at multiple locations.
According to the police report: “Suspect 1 and Suspect 2 had activated multiple gift cards without paying for the cards on the 22nd of Jan. 2022. Suspects #1 and #2 were employees of the Turkey Hill and both submitted their resignations after their shift.
“The officers were shown video of Suspects #1 and #2 activating gift cards and handing them to other patrons of the store without payment being exchanged. Officers gathered a list of the stolen gift cards and referred the incident to the Electronic Crime Unit. Other #1 instructed to maintain any records or video evidence for detectives.”
Area Speedways have lost $6,497 this year in four embezzlement schemes. On April 8, police took a report of $2,973 lost from the 4901 East Main Street location, again through a gift-card fraud.
On Feb. 1, an employee was said to have given a customer a money order and took the cash for themselves at the 2965 East Main Street location, with the store losing $699.
Speedway also lost $2,700, police reports said, when an employee at the Maple Canyon Avenue location CashApp’d themselves on Jan. 1.
And on March 22, at the Cleveland Avenue location, an employee helped themselves to $155 from the till, according to the police reports.
BP on East 17th Avenue on Feb. 19 reported a loss of $1,400 when an employee was said to have dipped into the till for $20 and $50 bills.
UDF, Marathon: $17,869 in cigarette losses
Police records show UDF locations in Columbus had six break-ins at the Noe Bixby Road location, where cigarettes to the tune of $10,869 were stolen between Jan. 3 and March 31.
A man and a woman were arrested on June 10 after another attempted cigarette heist at the same UDF location. Officers arrested the pair at a traffic stop and found a tire iron connected with the incident as well as a black milk crate full of cigarettes, the police report said.
Marathon reported only nine crimes through June this year, the largest at the Parson’s Avenue location, where thieves stole $7,000 in cigarettes from a delivery trailer.
Other area stations examined had only low-ticket items reported to Columbus police.
Sheetz has filed 27 reports to police this year, Sunoco six, and Shell 17, but these had little value like food, drinks, and gum, according to reports.
A search for Mobil returned no recorded reports.