By GLENN COUNTS / NBC Charlotte, October 9, 2013
Young Lim and his wife own the Gas and Go on Carowinds Boulevard.
“I took over this business about five-and-a-half years ago. Me and my wife work seven days a week, 80 hours a week. We work here,” said Mr. Lim.
Police say that over the weekend, someone invited their friends to the Gas and Go and didn’t pay, stealing 800 gallons of gas.
“Think about it — $3,000 is a lot of money,” said the owner.
The theft was caught on tape. The crooks rigged pump seven to keep running. One car after another pulls in and fills up, as seen on the video.
“It took about an hour, and then they disappeared. And then they came back the next day.”
The crime occurred right in front of everyone. The business was open. Other customers were pumping gas, clerks were around, even a Charlotte Mecklenburg police officer pulls in, but no one notices.
“This is the guy coordinating, and he came into the store. So see, they are all in here,” said Lim as he shows NBC Charlotte the security tape.
From the tape, it’s obvious the suspects didn’t try to hide. One of them even comes into the store to buy a pack of cigarettes.
Lim says this is a big hit to a small mom-and-pop store like his. He needs to order gasoline but says he doesn’t have the money right now.
His loyal customers are angered by the crime.
“I feel real bad because he’s a cool dude. He’s been friendly with me ever since I started coming to this store,” said Wesley Chestnut.
Judy Closser agrees. “It’s terrible, these little mom-and-pops are just trying to make a living,” she said.
Lim has provided police with the tape, so now they have good pictures of the suspects.
“It needs to be stopped and I need some help,” he said.
Since the end of last month, three other gas stations have been hit, including two Circle K’s in East Charlotte. Police have not said if the cases are connected.