Running out of gas on purpose

No money for gas? According to the local CBS affiliate in Sacramento, California, some drivers there are scamming free gas by taking advantage of a taxpayer-supported program called the Freeway Service Patrol.

The Patrol contracts with tow truck drivers to monitor the area’s freeways and help out stranded motorists. If they come across a motorist who’s run out of gas, the tow truck operators give them a free gallon of gas so that they can get to a station to fill up.

It’s a sign of the times—and the high price of fuel—that people have started to abuse the program. Tow truck drivers have reported several repeat offenders, and have noted that some of them seem to be factoring the time it takes into their daily commute to work. “We’ve seen guys doing it going to work and coming back from work,” said Bill Luna from Sierra Hart Towing.

In an effort to cut down on abuse, the tow truck operators have taken to offering a free tow to a gas station rather than a gallon of gas. Said one of the operators: “A lot of people just get in their car and drive away.”