LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A man was killed Tuesday while trying to siphon gas from a 76 station in South Los Angeles.
The Los Angeles Police Department received a call around 6:30 a.m. about a burned body in the 4440 block of Avalon Boulevard.
When officers arrived, they found the victim, identified by family members as Richard Glover, inside a charred-out van.
Authorities believe he was trying to steal gas from an underground tank when the vehicle exploded.
“It appears there’s some type of pump coming from the vehicle to the port of the tank,” Officer Manuel Gomez said.
Police also found two 55 gallon drums inside the van.
A gas station security guard said the blast sent a fireball more than 10 feet into the air.
“It was like ‘boop’…and it blew the window out over there,” Hervia Robertson said.
Glover’s family said he would try to steal gas when money got tight.
“My sister told him not to go,” Glover’s brother-in-law, Roland Williams, said.
Relatives also said this wasn’t the first time siphoning gas went badly for Glover.
“He got burned one time. That should’ve been enough,” Glover’s brother-in-law, Ivan Jackson, said.
No one else was injured in the explosion.