Gasoline prices at Iowa service stations have dropped a bit in recent weeks but there apparently has been no drop in the number of people pumping their gas and driving off without paying. Triple-A-Iowa spokeswoman Rose White says some gas retailers are going to new extremes to prevent being ripped off.The Quik Trip convenience store chain is testing an initiative asking customers who typically pay for gasoline with cash to submit their driver’s license numbers to cashiers. Drivers are then issued a card with their license number embedded in it. When the card isn’t used, the gas pump won’t switch on. White says the drive-offs are a serious problem.The convenience store industry lost 112-million dollars in pump-and-runs during 2003, working out to an average of more than one-thousand dollars per store. White says the Quik Trip chain lost four-million dollars to the criminals last year. White says whenever prices at the pump rise, so do the number of drive-offs. Triple-A says gas prices in Iowa are now averaging a dollar-79 a gallon, up from a dollar-55 a year ago. The current national average is a dollar-86.
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