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Keweenaw Sheriff seeks help finding gas thieves in Lac La Belle

Gasoline spilled into Lac La Belle after a fuel line was cut on Thursday
The cut line and remnants of the fuel oil tank were left to run into the lake.
The cut line and remnants of the fuel oil tank were left to run into the lake.(WLUC)
Published: May. 23, 2022 at 10:39 AM EDT
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LAC LA BELLE, Mich. (WLUC) - The Keweenaw County Sheriff is searching for suspects after a fuel spill in Lac La Belle on Thursday, May 19.

The spill is believed to be the result of attempted gasoline theft from a tank associated with a commercial fishing operation on the East shore of Lac La Belle. The 275-gallon fuel tank was not being used at the time and was emptied except for what remained in the bottom of the tank and fuel lines.

Deputies on the scene say thieves cut the fuel lines in an apparent attempt to siphon the remnants of the tank and fuel line, and it appeared they were filling up containers and spilling gas on the ground in the process. The cut line and remnants of the tank were left to run into the lake.

The spill was categorized as small and was contained late Thursday afternoon and mitigation efforts are currently in place.

Nearby residents report hearing a large truck idling near the location at approximately 4 a.m. Thursday morning. The theft took place during the late evening Wednesday or early Thursday morning.

Deputies were assisted by the Department of Natural Resources, Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, MJO contracting in conjunction with the United States Coast Guard and Houghton County Emergency Management Coordinator Chris Van Arsdale.

The Sheriff’s Department is seeking the public’s assistance in identifying the person or persons and vehicle involved in the incident. Tips can be called into (906) 337-0528.

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