It’s a felony!
Leaving a gas station without paying for the gas is a Class III felony in the State of Wisconsin. Just across the border in Illinois, it’s only a misdemeanor punishable by a two hundred dollar fine. If you are going to ‘tennis shoe’ from the gas station without paying, then do it in Illinois. In Wisconsin, and elsewhere, the line between deliberately committing a crime in this area and driving away accidentally is very thin.
Here’s what happened to a GSR employee on the 11th of November. She drove into Kwik Trip to fill up a company car. She used a company credit card to charge the gas. She presumed that the card was working because the pump gave her the go ahead to pump. But what had happened is that the card had not registered, but an employee looking out the window saw her and presumed she was going to fuel up and then come inside to pay. That judgement is left up to Kwik Trip employees, who are seldom wrong.
The GSR employee, however, presumed the gas was being charged against the card and finished filling up, before driving away. What’s to protect an innocent citizen from getting into the position of allowing the gas station to proceed to prosecution, or send a demand letter for payment?
Kwik Trip Receipt
Kwik Trip was kind enough to send a letter, which was promptly acted upon. The only defense any citizen really has, up front, is to wait for the printed receipt to come out of the machine. Without that receipt, things can go south really quickly. There will be no defense in checking the credit card records because the credit card wasn’t accessed or used. Kwik Trip must know this because their standard operating procedure is to send the letter and not call the cops.
Thank you Kwik Trip for being kind.