Who would go to the trouble to steal air pumps from service stations? Several gas retailers in Toms River have reported them gone from their berths, and township police believe they have a bead on the culprit.


Authorities said that the unidentified suspect had been spotted casing stations during daytime hours, and pumps were stolen from the same stations after nightfall.

Photos accompanying this report were culled from surveillance images captured at the Exxon station at the intersection of Routes 37 and 166 on July 11, according to township police.

The suspect arrived at about 7 PM on July 10, then returned at about 4 AM the next day to cart away the machine. The value of each is estimated at about $1,100, police said.

The vehicle is described as an older-model, teal-colored Chevrolet pickup with several dents in the hood.

Toms River police said that three thefts have been reported within the past month. They did not elaborate on whether any surveillance images yielded a clear view of the truck's license plates to determine the vehicle's registered owner.

Police urge anyone who recognizes the individual to call Detective Roger Hull, 732-349-0150, extension 1291.

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