Colonial Pipeline gas shortage – Driver arrested for 'drilling holes in U-Haul to steal gas and causing 45-gallon spill'

A MAN has been arrested for allegedly drilling holes into the tank of a U-Haul truck to steal gas during the ongoing gas shortage.

Jesse Smith, 25, was only able to get about five gallons of gas from the siphoned truck and spilled the rest on Wednesday, said Laurie Littlejohn, a spokesperson for the Griffin Police Department.

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Firefighters then had to clean up the 35 to 40-gallon spill during the rain on Wednesday afternoon, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

"While we understand that there is a shortage on gas, we also want to remind everyone to exercise safety, patience and common sense," Griffin police wrote on Facebook.

"The shortage is temporary and we anticipate the gas stations returning to full operations soon," it continued. "In the meantime, remain calm and don’t do anything to endanger yourself and others."

Smith was spotted allegedly using a red Ford F-series truck as a "getaway" vehicle, Littlejohn said, adding the theft occurred just after 9am at a USA Rent-A-Space.

Smith was also allegedly spotted near the U-Haul with a gas can around the time of the theft.

He was identified after authorities received tips from residents, and is charged with criminal damage to property and theft by taking.

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The gas shortage has been sparked by the Colonial Pipeline's brief pause due to the company falling victim to a cyber attack the Biden administration blames on hackers based in Russia.

After shutting down service for five days starting last Friday, the company said it was restarting operations on Wednesday but warned it would take several days to get fully online.

The company transports hundreds of millions of gallons of gas and diesel across the country and supplies half of the East Coast's gas stations, including airports in Baltimore and Atlanta.

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