Nova Scotia

Thieves rip off gas station, steal equipment after Dorian

The operators of a Cape Breton gas station say their till was $300 short because people were filling up without paying the day after Dorian.

Inverness, N.S., gas station short $300 after opening following storm

Gas pump inserted into car
A Cape Breton couple says some people didn't pay for gas after they opened their station Sunday morning in the immediate aftermath of Dorian. (Graham Hughes/The Canadian Press)

The operators of a Cape Breton gas station are questioning whether they should have gone out of their way for the community following Dorian, after they say some customers made off without paying.

Tommy Poirier and his wife Raylene opened up their gas station in the village of Inverness at 8 a.m. Sunday, so people could fill up their tanks and jerrycans following the powerful storm.

"We had been hearing reports that there was no power, there was no gas, there was no anything basically all down Route 19 until you hit Chéticamp," said Raylene Poirier. "So we made the decision to use our generator."

The machine can run the gas pumps, the till and credit card machines at their Ultramar station on Central Avenue.

"It was chaos," she said. "It was a crazy, busy day."

She said at first her husband was trying to pump gas and take payments by himself, then some friends pitched in before she arrived to help with their children in tow.

By 5 p.m., they had run out of gas and closed the garage.

When they tallied up the receipts for the day, they found they were short $300.

"People filling cans or whatever and leaving without paying," she said. "It's a little disheartening."

'Like a kick in the pants'

Tommy Poirier was too upset to talk about it, but his wife said it is about more than just the money.

"It almost feels like a kick in the pants when you go out of your way to do something like that and then you have people turn around and just take advantage," she said.

As of Tuesday afternoon, she said no one had returned to the station to pay for the gas they took Sunday.

"It just makes you think twice."

The Poirers weren't the only ones who had to deal with thieves.

On Tuesday, Nova Scotia Power posted on its Facebook page that Stihl chainsaws and Milwaukee drill kits brought to Nova Scotia by out-of-province crews had been stolen.

According to the post, the equipment was taken from locked E. Holland and K-Line trucks that were parked at hotels in Halifax, Dartmouth, Bedford and Stellarton as crews from New Brunswick and Ontario slept.



Yvonne LeBlanc-Smith was born and raised in Cape Breton. She began her career in private radio in Sydney and has been with CBC as a reporter, early morning news editor and sometimes host since 1990.


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