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Two Pelham Gas Stations Deal With Drive-Offs

PELHAM, N.Y. – Two separate drive-offs occurred at gas stations on Wolfs Lane recently when workers said customers filled up their tanks and then sped away before they paid for the gasoline.

Paul Bencivengo Jr., who works at the Gulf gas station, said a customer pulled up to a full service pump late last week and asked him to fill up his tank. He said the customer told him he would pay in cash but then said he forgot his wallet and fled when Bencivengo went inside to run the man’s credit card.

Though the theft was only a one-time occurrence, Bencivengo said he could not understate the gravity of what one crime could mean for his business, particularly with high gas prices in the current economy.

“One sale could lose you all your profit for the day,” Bencivengo said.

He also said a similar event occurred approximately five years ago but that he doesn’t often deal with drive-offs. He said all cash sales should be paid in advance to prevent these issues from happening in the future.

Nick Coschignano, who works at the Citgo gas station mere yards away from Bencivengo’s location, said he also had a customer drive off on him late last week. He said two young men in their mid-20s asked him to fill up their tank.

He said the men gave him a gift card and drove away while he went inside to run it. Coschignano said he has only had a few drive-off issues in his years in the business and said the financial loss is not as significant as the emotional strain.

“It’s more aggravation and disappointment in people because they seemed pretty nice,” Coschignano said. “And they stabbed me in the back.”

Both Bencivengo and Coschignano said they contacted police after the drive-offs.

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