PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – An oil truck stolen from the Eastern Shore of Maryland has turned up in Southwest Philadelphia, still loaded with more than 3,000 gallons of oil and authorities are still investigating how it got here.
Philadelphia detectives searched the fuel truck looking for fingerprints or other forensic evidence.
Sgt. Glen Owens of the Kent County, Maryland Sheriff’s office says the truck disappeared from a locked, fenced in area of the Alger Oil Company, sometime between Monday night and Tuesday morning. He says his office asked for help from the FBI and police in surrounding major cities because of the payload in the tanker.
With the company’s proximity to Washington D.C. and the timing near the 10th anniversary of 9/11, extra precautions were taken.
“You’re worried about large populations and any terrorist type intent but you don’t know– I mean there’s nothing in the investigation that indicated that– but you have to cover all your bases.”
Owens says he was not surprised the truck turned up in Philadelphia because he says large cities have a bigger market for stolen petroleum products.
12th district Officer Chris Fiechi first spotted the abandoned truck using a media app on his smart phone, that alerted him the truck had been stolen.
“I happened to look at my app on my phone, there was a picture and a tag. I look up and there it is sitting right there,” said Fiechi. “I got the plate number and everything and looked up and saw it.”
One fuel expert says it is not uncommon for a truck to be stolen so the fuel could to be sold to a gas station. The fuel was still inside the truck, so it’s not clear exactly why the truck was stolen then abandoned.
“At this point there is no link to terrorism. Just like our (Philadelphia) department putting the alert out on the U-Haul trucks, the authorities in Maryland did the responsible thing and made sure everybody within a reasonable radius of their jurisdiction was aware this theft occurred,” said Philadelphia Chief Inspector Joe Sullivan.
Detectives are checking surveillance cameras in the area hoping they might have captured an image of the suspect.
Reported by Pat Loeb, KYW Newsradio; Todd Quinones, CBS 3