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ALTOONA, Pa. -- A high number of drive-offs at the Sheetz convenience store in Mt. Holly Springs, Pa., has the local police department and borough council upset, reported the Sentinel Reporter.
To date this year, there have been more than 100 drive-offs from people who indicate at the pump that they intend to pay cash in the store, then fill their tanks and drive away, the report stated.
"It's causing a real backlog for us to always send police down there," Councilman Jim Collins told the paper.
"It's a problem for me," said Mt. Holly Police Chief Darrell Goodhart. "It eats up an awful lot of time."
When police are called to investigate drive-offs, hours can be spent watching video tapes to get descriptions and license plate numbers on vehicles, he said. "I've had officers spend 12 to 15 hours a week doing it," he added.
In addition, the police presence has caught the attention of many residents. "People have been complaining that the police are just hanging around Sheetz all day," Councilwoman Suzanne Cornman told the paper. "They're not just hanging around. They're looking at video tapes and doing investigations."
The City Council agreed to ask Sheetz to change its policy on cash sales, requiring customers to pre-pay for cash sales before the pump is turned on, the report stated.
However, that policy may be unrealistic, Sheetz officials told the paper.
"Typically, it really depends on how severe we think the problem is in that district before we move to pre-pay," said Monica Jones, spokesperson for Sheetz.
While Jones told the paper it was the first she's heard of a problem at the store and there's no plan require cash customers to pre-pay at the pump, if the problem warrants a change, Sheetz will do so, the newspaper reported.
In the meantime, "We don't want to punish our honest customers for the mistakes of a few," Jones said.