Thieves risk explosion to steal propane from Seattle gas station

A suspect is seen on surveillance video stealing propane as fumes spew out around him. (KOMO News photo)

SEATTLE - Thieves are seen on surveillance video risking an explosion to steal propane from a Magnolia gas station early Thursday morning.

The owners and the community are concerned this could have been worse. It also turns out this isn't the first time the gas station has been targeted.

The thieves seen on surveillance video stealing propane from the Shell gas station have no idea how dangerous it could have been.

They brought four tanks to fill up for free, broke into the tank and propane ended up spewing out.

"It would have blown up the entire building, it would have hurt a lot of people,” said the owner’s wife, Melissa Nasif. “everyone's first reaction was, ‘Oh my goodness, that is a huge propane tank - these people don't know what they're doing.’"

The owner, Sam Nasif, said luckily the electric pump to the tank was switched off so the damage wasn’t worse.

It's the second time this gas station has been targeted in three weeks.

Masked robbers are seen on surveillance video on Sept. 28 smashing the front door and throwing smoke bombs.

The owner said they got away with $15,000 in stolen goods and it took police an hour and 15 minutes to respond.

"This is our blood, sweat and tears,” said Melissa Nasif. “For somebody to come to our property and watch them trying to steal and destroy things is really disheartening."

The owner said between the theft and leakage, he lost 33 gallons of propane.

"In the last few years the crime has started to go up so much that it's concerning to a lot of people around us, including neighbors and other business owners,” said Melissa Nasif.

A Seattle police detective is looking into the theft. The suspects in the previous robbery have not been caught.

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