With gas prices skyrocketing across California, one alleged gas thief apparently decided he'd had enough. Police say Edward Valila stole more than 1,000 gallons of gas from a Roseville Shell station.
Valila, 32, was arrested Sunday, Oct. 7 at his parents' Elk Grove home and is suspected of using his truck to manipulate the pumps at the Shell gas station at Harding and Douglas boulevards near the Roseville Square shopping center in Roseville. He allegedly stole more than 1,000 gallons of gas on three consecutive nights, according to Roseville Police, the first reported Sept. 28.
The Shell station is now out more than $4,500 because of the gas thefts, police report.
Although the investigation is ongoing, Roseville Police believe Valila may have had plans to sell the more than 1,000 gallons of stolen gasoline.
Lately, gas prices have risen dramatically. Across California, residents awoke Friday to find that gas prices had increased significantly overnight by as much as 20 cents. The average price of regular gas across the state had risen to $4.49 a gallon—the highest in the nation—and by Saturday evening had hit $4.65. That's compared with a California average of $4.18 on Monday, Oct. 1.
Video surveillance and leads from gas station attendants led the Valila's arrest. Roseville Police are currently investigating and working with other local law enforcement agencies that have seen similar reported gas thefts.
Valila is being held in the Placer County Jail on suspicion of grand theft. His bail is set at $5,000.