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Police: Village Gas Pains

The police blotters in Sleepy Hollow and Tarrytown were a mess of Hess, BP, Shell and Mobil recently when lines peaked and patience plummeted.

Hurricane Sandy is long gone but her wrath has lingered. There were many still without power last week and many finding themselves literally running on empty with not enough gas in their tanks. 

Several reports came into police of suspicious parked cars, which were really just abandoned with notes on the dash that they were out of gas. 

  • On Nov. 2 at 8:08 p.m. a call came from Powder Horn Way reporting a suspicious van parked on the corner of Tarryhill Road. Sergeant reported vehicle was disabled with a note stating it was out of gas.
  • At 11:16 p.m. another suspicious car was reported on Carrollwood Drive. Officers on scene also report the car had a note that the driver ran out of gas and would be returning as soon as possible.

Then there's the woman, also on Carrollwood, who on Nov. 5 at 11:08 a.m. came into headquarters to report that someone siphoned gas out of her car over the weekend. Related to the above? Unknown. Petit larceny report filed. 

Another gasless one in Sleepy Hollow: On Nov. 3 at 12:31 p.m. a caller reported he was out of gas on North Broadway. Officer sent and reported the handicap driver was out of fuel but out of the roadway but had someone responding within a half hour to help bring him some gas. 

In Tarrytown, huge gas pains:

Things have luckily seemed to resolve themselves now with our gas situation, said Lieutenant William Herguth, but for a few days, Tarrytown police were on their toes round the clock with calls from gas stations with lines often out of control.

Herguth however described “more arguments than fights” and no real trouble beyond the annoyance.

On Nov. 1 at 8:58 p.m. Police received a call from an employee at the Mobil Mart station saying he was going to close the station since they ran out of fuel but was worried about how the large group would react – estimated at a few hundred cars in line. Officers went to monitor the area and make announcements. At 9:55 p.m., officers were still going to remain in the area due to a large number of cars still attempting to line up at the closed station. At 10:30 p.m., the delivery of new gas was now causing additional traffic conditions. Officers would monitor the situation.

On Nov. 2 at 8:21 p.m. a detective received a report of motorist in distress in the line of cars waiting for gas on South Broadway south of Walter Street. Officers checked the status of those in the gas line and couldn’t find anyone in any particular distress.

On Nov. 3 at 11:36 a.m., police received a call from the Hess Station reporting what appeared to be a physical altercation at the gas line. Officers on scene reported an unknown motorist tried to cut the line resulting in a verbal dispute as people tried to stop him. The driver was gone, without gas, before police came.

One woman wrote in to Patch about this very same situation witnessed at Hess by her husband and son, when a white luxury car apparently tried to cut the line and the workers and citizens banded together to stop it.

Read more on that here.

Then there was the comment on Patch's Facebook page wondering about possible price gouging and showing another possible side to Hess: 

Nicole Gilpin wrote: 

Oh, and I think the Hess gas station on S. Broadway is price gouging or scamming or something. I got gas Tuesday night and, after stopping the pump once my tank was full, the price continued to rise until I put the pump back on the handle. Rose even though it was not even attached to my car in any way. I brought this to the attention of the gas attendant, Ali, and he was indifferent. So I wrote a complaint through hessexpress.com/StoreHome/32575 and got an automated voice message saying someone will get back to me. No one has so far. But I called my credit card company and they are taking care of the erroneous charge, and I am filing a report with the NY Attorney General's office. So beware at the Hess station...

It continues. On Nov. 3 at 5:55 p.m., the Shell station requested assistance closing their gas line. Officers advised. At 8:40 p.m., Hess called with the same request.

Despite being closed, Shell later reported at 10:50 p.m. that cars were still gassing up at the station. Owner was contacted and said this should not be happening. The gas station employee was on his way to shut down the pumps. Officers cleared the station and the line. Herguth figured they had not taped the station off, which is something that became a regular sight going forward.

On Nov. 5 at 8 a.m., a caller reported traffic conditions on White Plains Road forming due to a large number of cars waiting for gas at the Shell station. Officer reported that cars were trying to enter the station from different locations causing traffic concerns on Route 119 and Route 9. Officer would monitor area and advise station to make Route 9 an exit only. At 8:12 a.m., the officer reported that Hess was receiving a fuel shipment and cars from there were also lining up on South Broadway.

At 8:35 a.m., Hess reported that people were arguing in the parking lot, fighting over gasoline. Officers said that people left prior to their arrival.

At 9:13 a.m. Hess called again requesting an officer to help with the large line on Route 9. Caller was now advised that Tarrytown could not provide an officer on a permanent basis and to call if there were any other disputes or issues. Sure enough, at 9:50 a.m., the manager of the station called about a dispute over gas. Officers found no dispute when they arrived.

On Nov. 5 at 9:31 p.m., Hess called requested an officer to help with closing the line. 

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Sleepy Hollow fared better with only a few calls in last week's blotters related to gas lack. In several cases, there was even attempted or actual abundance:

A caller reported that a car that been idling on Depeyster Street for four hours. Two officers sent and went to registered owner’s address where no one was home. Police shut the car off and left a notice left on it. Owner came later to pick up keys.

A gas station worker at BP station called to report on Nov. 7 at 9:18 a.m. that a man tried to fill approximately 50 five-gallon gas cans. The truck had writing from Bohemia, Long Island and drove southbound on Route 9. Officers on the scene reported the area was clear but they got the truck's license number from BP. Tarrytown PD contacted to help locate the truck.

On Nov. 7 at 9:13 p.m. a caller from the Citgo station reported that someone pumped fuel and then fled with the nozzle in his tank. All units were sent and reported that the driver had returned to the scene; he had not realized the nozzle was still in his tank. No case was filed and the person would rectify the situation with the gas station. 

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