Suspected serial gas thief arrested - | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Suspected serial gas thief arrested

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Chattanooga Police have arrested a man they say is responsible for a string of recent gas thefts.

Police arrested Thomas Bouch, 39, Friday night. Police say he is responsible for at least 18 gas thefts in Chattanooga, East Ridge, Red Bank, Collegedale, and in Hamilton County.

WRCB first reported the gas thefts last week. The gas thief struck numerous businesses in the area. At the Burks United Methodist Church, nearly $300 in gas was stolen from vehicles.

"Our primary focus at the church is obviously to serve our community, so if we can supply gas to somebody that's fine," Dagan Beckett, the communications director at Burks said.

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Investigators say Bouch cut the gas lines on parked vehicles throughout the Chattanooga Area.

"What they're doing is they're just going under here to this fuel line here and there's a rubber line -- I got my hand on it here -- and they're just cutting right through that, feeding whatever tool or gizmo they're using whether it's a pump or just a regular air siphon," says mechanic Doug Bruggink.

Bouch remains in the Hamilton County Jail on theft and vandalism charges.

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