Tag Archives: gas stations

Four ATM skimming devices found in past two weeks in 109th Precinct

| asuriel@queenscourier.com

Photos courtesy of the NYPD

Police are cautioning the public to be mindful of erroneous charges on their accounts after four ATM skimming devices were found in the past two weeks in the 109th Precinct.

Two of the devices were discovered in automated teller machines located inside a Flushing Duane Reade store at 136-02 Roosevelt Ave., according to a statement released over social media by Deputy Inspector Thomas J. Conforti. Two additional devices were found affixed to gas pumps at the gas stations located in Whitestone at 17-55 Francis Lewis Blvd. and on the Bayside border at 29-16 Francis Lewis Blvd.

Police said that the devices were respectively discovered by workers at Duane Reade and gas station owners, who then immediately called NYPD to investigate.

Deputy Inspector Conforti said police do not know how long the devices were in place.

The Inspector further stated that it is usually a couple of months after finding the device that victims may begin to notice suspicious charges on their bank accounts.

The NYPD is advising consumers who may have used charge cards on these ATM machines or gas pumps since Aug. 1 to call credit card or bank companies and inform them of cards which may have been compromised.

The case is being investigated by the Financial Crimes Task Force. Any suspicious activity or crime should be immediately reported to the 109th Precinct.


Police looking for two suspects in three gas station robberies

| aaltamirano@queenscourier.com

Photos Courtesy of NYPD

The NYPD is trying to find two suspects for three robberies of two gas stations in Jamaica and one in Flushing.

According to police, in each incident the suspects drove to the gas station in a dark colored minivan, then the driver exited the vehicle, watched the locations and returned to the minivan. Afterwards, the second suspect exited the vehicle, entered the location and either displayed a black handgun or simulated having a gun under his shirt and demanded money from the register and cigarettes.

On Saturday, March 16 at 5:40 a.m. one of the suspects simulated a firearm under his shirt as he robbed the Gulf Gas Station located at 241-15 Hillside Avenue in Jamaica.

On Tuesday, March 19 at 4 a.m. one suspect displayed a black firearm while robbing the Exxon Gas Station located at 137-21 Liberty Avenue in Jamaica.

On Wednesday, March 20 at 6:22 a.m. one of the suspects displayed a black handgun as he robbed the Mobil Gas Station located at 133-11 Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing.

Both suspects are described as Hispanic males, one suspect is 5’10” to 6′ tall, large build and with a  moustache and the second suspect is  5’7″ to 5’9″ tall, medium build, with facial hair and wearing a black hooded jacket

Authorities have released photos for both suspects and a surveillance video of one of the suspects.

Anyone with information in regards to these incidents is asked to call Crime stoppers at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477).  The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime Stoppers website or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577. All calls are strictly confidential.




Gas prices return to pre-Sandy levels

| brennison@queenscourier.com

gas prices

After a month of wild fluctuations post-Sandy, New York City gas prices have settled back to where they were before the storm.

Prices at the pump jumped 15 cents in the aftermath of the storm, before slowly retreating to $4, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, the same price drivers were paying last month.

Over the past week the cost of gas dropped 6 cents.

While gas prices shot up in New York after the storm, costs nationally fell. Over the past month, the average throughout the country dropped 13 cents.

Motorists in the area are still paying significantly more to fill up than last year when prices were $3.71.

City gas rationing to end Saturday

| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Maggie Hayes

Two weeks after the mayor activated odd/even gas rationing, he announced any car, regardless of license plate number, will be able to fill up beginning tomorrow.

Beginning Friday, November 9, Mayor Michael Bloomberg instituted a rationing system to ease long lines at gas stations amidst a post-Sandy fuel shortage.

“With more than 85 percent of gas stations now operating – a substantial increase from just 25 percent two weeks ago – and Thanksgiving and Black Friday behind us, the odd-even license plate system will be rescinded starting tomorrow morning,” said Bloomberg.

In the week following the storm, stations throughout the city with gas featured three-hour long waits to fill-up.  In the days after rationing began, the lines dwindled back to normal.

The mayor last week extended the rationing until at least Black Friday to assure all drivers would be able to travel during one of the busiest travel times of the year.



3 Queens gas stations accused of price gouging

| brennison@queenscourier.com

gas 1

As lines grew at gas stations throughout Queens, prices at the pump swelled as well, prompting an investigation into gouging.

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the first series of actions in what his office called “a wide-ranging investigation” into post-Sandy price gouging at gas stations throughout New York. The attorney general plans to begin enforcement proceedings against the 13 New York gas stations, while investigating hundreds of others.

“Our office has zero tolerance for price gouging and we are taking action to send a message that ripping off New Yorkers is against the law,” said Schneiderman.

Three of the targeted gas stations are in Queens:

• The Mobil station at 40-40 Crescent Street in Long Island City, which according to consumer complaints charged customers $4.89.

• The Shell at 71-08 Northern Boulevard in Jackson Heights, where customer complaints said drivers were charged $5.50.

• The Delta station at 13-09 14th Avenue in College Point, which charged $5, according to consumer complaints.

According to the state’s business laws, merchants are prohibited from taking advantage of consumers during an “abnormal disruption of the market” by hiking prices to an “unconscionably excessive price.”

While “unconscionably excessive price” is not specifically defined, the attorney general’s office said a before and after analysis of prices can be used as evidence.

Gas prices jumped 15 cents in the two weeks after Superstorm Sandy, even as gas prices nationwide fell.

“These 13 retailers stand out from others in the high prices they have charged and in the size of their price increases,” Schneiderman said.

Schneiderman said that the L.I.C. Mobil station had a posted price of $3.89, but after waiting on a three-block line, the consumer found the price at the pump to be a dollar higher. The station would not comment on the investigation.

A worker at the Delta station said they were forced to up prices after the cost of the gas they were buying also rose.

After Sandy, the station was paying $3.89 per gallon, a 48 cent jump from before the storm, according to receipts.

Six employees, up from one, were also working around the clock at the full-service station to keep up with the demand, which pushed prices higher, said the employee, John, who did not want to give his last name.

“What were we going to do, take the money out of our pocket? No, you put it in the price,” said John, who also said that the station’s prices never went above $4.50.

If gas stations can justify why their costs went up, they will not be charged, said the attorney general’s office.

Penalties for price gouging includes fines, which are calculated based on how much illegal profits were made, according to the attorney general’s office.

Councilmember Peter Vallone does not think the punishment goes far enough.

“Clearly, the penalties that exist are insufficient to protect the public in times of crisis,” Vallone said. “These gas stations in particular apparently see fines as the cost of doing business. Anyone who would try to profit from another person’s pain during an emergency deserves to face jail time.”

Gas rationing begins today in NYC

| brennison@queenscourier.com

File photo

More than a week into the gas shortage, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced an emergency order rationing gas to begin Friday morning at 6.

Cars with license plates ending in odd numbers or a letter will be able to purchase gas on odd numbered days; vehicles with plates ending in even numbers can purchase on even numbered days.

Long Island and Westchester have also issued alternate day gas rations.

“This is designed to make sure everyone has a fair chance, that the lines aren’t too oppressive and that we can get through this,” the mayor said.

The announcement comes as Bloomberg said the shortage may continue until Thanksgiving.

Police officers will be at stations to enforce the order, Bloomberg said.  Violations are Class B misdemeanors, according to a release from the mayor’s office.

Driver’s frustrations have grown with the lines at gas stations.

“The gasoline shortages remain a real problem for drivers throughout our region,” Bloomberg said.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie installed a similar rationing plan in the state nearly two weeks ago that significantly cut down on gas lines.

Emergency vehicles, buses, para-transit vehicles, commercial vehicles, taxis and cars with medical license plates are exempt from the order.

As of now, the order will remain in effect for five days.


Hours-long gas lines remain as Gov lifts restrictions to ease shortage

| brennison@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Maggie Hayes

With millions of New Yorkers heading back to work and limited subway service, many residents hopped in their cars only to find no place to fill up.

“Gas is in short supply,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said at the daily press conference updating New Yorkers on the city’s response to Hurricane Sandy.

Senator Charles Schumer announced the reopening of New York Harbor for fuel yesterday to help alleviate the shortage.

Stations need product and the reopening of the harbor will help a great deal, said Ralph Bombardiere, executive director of the New York State Association of Service Stations and Repair Shops.

New York Harbor is the busiest oil port in the world, receiving an average of 900,000 barrels of petroleum products per day, according to the Energy Department.

Cuomo also signed an executive order waiving the states requirements the registration and tax requirement for fuel tankers before unloading at the harbor and Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano waived the Jones Act which will bring additional tankers with fuel into the region.

“It’s going to be better in the near future,” Cuomo said.

As of this morning, long lines litter the gas stations throughout the borough that still have gas, with drivers waiting hours.

Other stations are still without electricity, preventing them from pumping gas.

“Those gas stations that have gas have no electricity and stations with electricity don’t have any gas,” said Bombardiere.

Whenever a station does get a shipment of gas, they get mobbed and quickly run out, said Chris Mcbride, community transportation specialist at AAA.

With news of a gas shortage spreading over social media, residents panic and fill up even if they have a half-tank, said Bombardiere.

“A lot of the reserves are in people’s tanks” he said.

This can quickly become a problem in a shortage.

“You wouldn’t want too many people hoarding it, if it means some people have none,” said Mcbride.

The length of the shortage will likely depend on how long power is out in a significant portion of the area, Mcbride said.  If the outage continues much longer, the government will need to get involved, he said.

“Once power is restored, more stations will open and when people see that, there will be less of a rush and less demand,” said Mcbride.

Bombardiere expects “a nail-biting situation until the weekend.” After that the situation should ease each day and by next Friday stations should be fully up and running.


Gas prices near 2012 highs

| brennison@queenscourier.com

File photo

Gas prices continue their two month climb in New York City and are approaching 2012 highs.

The average price for a gallon of gas in the city has risen to $4.23, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report, 8 cents higher than a week ago.

Over the past month the cost of gas has jumped 17 cents.

Since July, the cost of a gallon of gas has steadily increased and is now near the 2012 high. Prices at the pump peaked in April at $4.24.

Last year, city drivers were paying under $4 per gallon.

Nationally, the average also continues to rise. A gallon of gas nationally is $3.86, 14 cents higher than a month ago.


Gas prices near 2012 lows

| brennison@queenscourier.com

Gas Prices

Prices at the pump continued to plummet and are nearing 2012 lows.

The average New York City gas price has fallen for the past two months and settled at $3.86, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.

Many stations throughout the city come in well below the average.

Over the past week, the cost of gas has fallen seven cents in the city and has dropped 24 cents over the past month.

At this time last year New Yorkers were paying $4.09 for a gallon of gas.

Nationally, the average cost for a gallon of gas is $3.54, 19 cents lower than a month ago.


Gas prices fall below $4

| brennison@queenscourier.com

Queens gas

As the summer driving season is set to begin, gas prices have fallen below $4 for the first time since February.

Prices at the pump plummeted to an average of $3.98 in New York City, according to AAA’s Fuel Gauge Report.

Gas surpassed the $4 mark in late February, where it had remained for the past three months.

Historically, gas prices rise post Memorial Day as drivers take to the road for vacations and weekend getaways.

Over the past month, gas has fallen 20 cents. A year ago, drivers were paying $4.15 per gallon to fill up.

Nationally, the average cost for a gallon of gas is $3.63, five cents lower than last week.