Car thieves ditch truck while filling fuel tank

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OCEANSIDE, Calif. — A pair of thieves who tried to steal diesel fuel from a tank at a concrete company ran off when interrupted by officers but left the fuel spilling over the stolen vehicle they abandoned, the Oceanside Police Department reported Thursday.

The thieves were spotted by a security guard around 9:30 p.m. Wednesday night at Superior Concrete Co., which had suffered similar thefts the previous two nights, said Lt. Valencia Saadat of the OPD.

She said the men left a siphoning valve open, so diesel fuel spilled all over the car they left behind — which had been reported stolen last month in the Los Angeles County city of Whittier. Fuel also spilled into the yard.

The Oceanside Fire Department and a hazardous materials team were called in to clean up the mess.

Officers set a perimeter and a helicopter was called in to help search for the men, but they escaped, according to Saadat. The lieutenant said the owner of the stolen car was notified that the vehicle had been recovered.

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