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Moorhead gas station says enough is enough when it comes to gas drive-offs

The Orton's Holiday Gas Station in Moorhead switched to pre-pay / pay at the pump only after losing thousands to theft this year.

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A customer buying gas at a Holiday gas station in Moorhead.
Finn Harrison / WDAY News
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MOORHEAD — With rising gas prices comes a rise in the number of people trying to pull a fast one at the pump.

It's a problem that every gas station has to deal with: gas drive-offs, or people filling up their cars with gas and hitting the road without paying for it.

Holiday Station Manager Amy Kiehl says it's been a big issue in recent months as gas prices surged across the country.

"For us, the numbers that we're hitting, it's just there's no de-escalation," Kiehl said. "So as of this morning, we move to pre-pay/pay at the pump only."

The decision came in part because of the increase in theft. She says they've been losing thousands every month. Last month, they lost around $3,500 dollars in stolen gas. For June, they were nearing $4,000.

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"It's an unrecoverable expense," she said.

They've been thinking about switching to pre-pay only for a while now, especially as other gas stations in the metro area have done the same. One of the things stopping them was their fear of inconveniencing their customers.

Her staff has been working hard all day to explain their new rules to them. She said it led to some negative responses.

Attorney General Drew Wrigley said “North Dakota secured a landmark U.S. Supreme Court victory in one of the most important environmental and energy law cases in decades.”

"It's definitely been a learning curve," Kiehl said. "We have a very strong customer following here, which is fantastic that most people understand why we're doing what we're doing. We've had a few that have been a little upset."

She says it will be an adjustment for a lot of their regulars. But with pre-pay effectively solving the gas drive-off issue entirely, it was a no-brainer for them.

This decision only applies to this particular gas station, not all Holiday gas stations. They follow other gas stations in the area, like Casey's, Don's Car Wash and Simonson in making the move to exclusively pre-pay or pay at the pump transactions.

Related Topics: GASOLINE
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