Chillicothe gas stations have reported a spike in pumping and running.
More than a dozen gas thefts have been reported in recent weeks. Nine have been from a BP gas station run by Rick Fravel of Englefield Oil.
Fravel has managed gas station for more than 40 years.
"Any site that's not pre-pay, they're having drive-off issues," Fravel said.
Fravel said that he did not want to change his company's policy because it would make the customers' stop at his convenient store more inconvenient.
Fravel said that his company meets regularly on the issue of drive-offs.
"It's easier for them to just go ahead and pump," Fravel said. "They don't want to come in and pay $50 and then realize they could use $20 more. Now, there's another step inside and outside."
Police said that problems begin when pre-pay is not mandatory.
"It's much easier to get out of town before we ever get a chance to get to the scene," Chillicothe Police Officer Bud Lytle said. "You're already out of town. You're maybe 15 to 20 minutes down the highway."
Lytle said that thieves take advantage of busy stores when clerks are not looking. He also said that drive offs are hard to enforce unless a license plate number is recorded.
"We try to get a description of the person who's pumping the gas as well as the vehicle," Lytle said. "We try to get a license plate number off the vehicle. That's a lot for them to take on."
Police said that drive-offs are more common in isolated or smaller towns. Most stations in Columbus require customers to pre-pay for their gas.
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