Here's This Woman’s One Simple Trick To Stealing $28,000 In Gas

Screenshot: <a class="link " href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Pump & Pantry via YouTube;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas">Pump & Pantry via YouTube</a>

A Nebraska woman exploited a glitch in gas pump software that allowed her to get nearly $30,000 worth of free gas… until the owners figured out what she was doing. Now, the 45-year-old is in a whole lot of trouble.

Dawn Thompson has been charged with one count of theft after capitalizing on a vulnerability in the gas pumps at a shop called “Pump and Pantry” that got her $27,860.27 in free gasoline, according to 1011 NOW. It took the owners about six months to figure out what she was doing. That’s when the shop’s loss prevention manager discovered one card had been repeatedly used to get free gas. Spoiler alert: it was Dawn’s.

Here’s how Dawn did it, according to 1011 NOW:


Upon further investigation, police learned that the fuel pumps received a software update in November of 2022. The update managed orders and reward cards, and it was made at the request of customers and staff.

Unbeknownst to the company, however, the update was exploitable. It allowed anyone to swipe a rewards card twice to enter the pump into a demo mode. From there, the user could pump gas for free.

Police believe the fuel was stolen between November 13, 2022 and June 1, 2023. In those months, she used the rewards card 510 times. However, this wasn’t a once-a-day operation. Dawn was using the trick multiple times per day, according to 1011 NOW. She got cocky. Police say she pumped 7,413.59 gallons of gasoline during those uses. The manager estimated the average fuel cost during those months was about $3.76 – which is how you get to the nearly-$28,000 total number.

At this point, you may be wondering how the hell one woman used this much gas in six months. Well, she wasn’t the only one using the card. Another person started using the card in 2023. When police contacted her, she said Thompson would let her use the card to get “discounted fuel.” The arrangement was that the woman would pay Thompson for the privilege of using the card. In total, police say the unnamed woman paid Thompson $500 for $700 worth of gas between 10 uses. Not a bad deal, to be honest. The woman added that Thompson sold the card sometime in June of 2023– presumably after the fuel loop home was fixed on June 1 of the same year.

Our hero Dawn was arrested on March 6 after a months-long investigation. She was arraigned last week, and her bond was set at 10 percent of $7,500. Her next court hearing is scheduled for April 11.

The way Dawn came into possession of the card is as strange as this story itself. She reportedly got it in lieu of payment from a guy who was paying off a car debt. Unfortunately, he couldn’t be contacted by 1011 NOW because, well, he died in January.

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