Custodian snaps photos of suspects siphoning gas at Novato bus yard

Truck at Novato Unified School District Bus Yard with gas syphon. Photo: Novato police

A quick-thinking custodian spotted at least two suspects siphoning off what turned out to be about 1,000 gallons of gasoline from the Novato Unified School District Bus Yard before they took off in a large truck, police said.

Sgt. Christopher Andres said that the custodian was able to snap a few photos of the vehicle,  a white Ford Econoline box van or similar truck, before it drove off about 11:15 p.m. from the bus yard on Olive Avenue.
He had seen a man and a woman siphoning gasoline from the underground storage tanks that are used to fill school buses and other school district’s vehicles, Andres said. The equipment that was used to siphon the gasoline suggests that the suspect vehicle was equipped with a large storage container or containers, which could be capable of holding hundreds of gallons of gasoline, Andres added.

The custodian described the driver as a Latino man, in his 30s, bald and a medium build. A passenger in the vehicle was described as a white woman, blond hair and heavy set. The truck has a California license plate attached to the rear of the vehicle of 7BQK347. However, this may be a stolen license plate, Andres said. What could be helpful in identifying this vehicle is that written on the passenger door is “AUTOMATIC • A/C • SEATS 3” along with a California declared weight sticker that has the number “15” displayed. Next to this sticker is written “UNDER 14,050 GROSS”.

Anyone with information is asked to call 415-897-4361.