Gas bottle bandits

johnboy 22 August 2013 23

ACT Policing is seeking information from the public after multiple incidents of gas bottles being stolen for ‘Swap’N’Go’ outlets.

Most recently, seven 8.5 kilogram gas bottles were stolen from IGA Palmerston last night (Wednesday 21 August).

About 9.45pm, two men used bolt cutters to access the gas bottle storage cage. CCTV footage of the theft will be analysed by police.

Over the past three months similar incidents in Fraser, Symonston, Oaks Estate, Charnwood, Ngunnawal, Fyshwick and Waramanga have been reported to police. A total of 58 gas bottles have been reported stolen. They are believed to be being sold off individually.

Anyone with information regarding these thefts is urged to contact Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000 or via www.act.crimestoppers.com.au. Information can be provided anonymously.

[Courtesy ACT Policing]


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dixyland dixyland 6:07 pm 26 Aug 13

My neighbour has had a suspicious amount of barbecues lately…….

Russ Russ 8:21 pm 23 Aug 13

IrishPete said :

Russ said :

I don’t believe that explosion was of a BLEV type, in fact I have no idea how they achieved it, nor how they avoided being ripped apart by tank shrapnel.

As I said, it’s *really* hard to get LPG, in a tank or otherwise, to explode in a convincing manner. Mythbusters showed this when they tried to blow up LPG tanks by putting them in a fire – even after they disabled the over-pressure safety valve, the resulting BLEVE was just vapour expansion, not combustion, and actually blew the fire out by displacing all the oxygen.

Yeah, I would be much more concerned about a LPG leak pooling somewhere, invisibly. We play with burning, venting gas cylinders in RFS training, so I presume they aren’t particularly dangerous. The training is always “don’t extinguish the flame” as that will allow the gas to escape and pool.

IP

The other risk with freely venting LPG is that at some point it may reach a mixture with air such that it does ignite violently – even if it’s not explosive/percussive, it’s still extremely dangerous.

Back to the (kinda) topic, as far as I know, all the exploding ATM heists have been done with oxy-acetylene gear, which is a far more reliable and potent explosive mix (and bloody dangerous, in case that wasn’t obvious). If they tried it with straight LPG, at best they’d end up just burning the guts of the machine, and probably the cashmoney as well.

caf caf 6:27 pm 23 Aug 13

IrishPete said :

pronounced BLEVY, spelt BLEVE.

…which we all know means “to bluff”.

andym andym 5:30 pm 23 Aug 13

IrishPete said :

pronounced BLEVY, spelt BLEVE.

Actually that would be a PUVCE not a BLEVE….just saying

IrishPete IrishPete 5:16 pm 23 Aug 13

Russ said :

I don’t believe that explosion was of a BLEV type, in fact I have no idea how they achieved it, nor how they avoided being ripped apart by tank shrapnel.

As I said, it’s *really* hard to get LPG, in a tank or otherwise, to explode in a convincing manner. Mythbusters showed this when they tried to blow up LPG tanks by putting them in a fire – even after they disabled the over-pressure safety valve, the resulting BLEVE was just vapour expansion, not combustion, and actually blew the fire out by displacing all the oxygen.

Yeah, I would be much more concerned about a LPG leak pooling somewhere, invisibly. We play with burning, venting gas cylinders in RFS training, so I presume they aren’t particularly dangerous. The training is always “don’t extinguish the flame” as that will allow the gas to escape and pool.

IP

bundah bundah 4:52 pm 23 Aug 13

Russ said :

IrishPete said :

bundah said :

Yes but like a firey once told me if you get a gas leak from a LPG tank get the hell out of the area fast

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Y2wcipQl4

It’s called a BLEVY, though I don’t think that video is the best (scariest) example of it.

IP

I don’t believe that explosion was of a BLEV type, in fact I have no idea how they achieved it, nor how they avoided being ripped apart by tank shrapnel.

As I said, it’s *really* hard to get LPG, in a tank or otherwise, to explode in a convincing manner. Mythbusters showed this when they tried to blow up LPG tanks by putting them in a fire – even after they disabled the over-pressure safety valve, the resulting BLEVE was just vapour expansion, not combustion, and actually blew the fire out by displacing all the oxygen.

Well Russ this is precisely what the firey warned me about, scary!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fBXS21uh6lc

Russ Russ 4:31 pm 23 Aug 13

IrishPete said :

bundah said :

Yes but like a firey once told me if you get a gas leak from a LPG tank get the hell out of the area fast

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Y2wcipQl4

It’s called a BLEVY, though I don’t think that video is the best (scariest) example of it.

IP

I don’t believe that explosion was of a BLEV type, in fact I have no idea how they achieved it, nor how they avoided being ripped apart by tank shrapnel.

As I said, it’s *really* hard to get LPG, in a tank or otherwise, to explode in a convincing manner. Mythbusters showed this when they tried to blow up LPG tanks by putting them in a fire – even after they disabled the over-pressure safety valve, the resulting BLEVE was just vapour expansion, not combustion, and actually blew the fire out by displacing all the oxygen.

wildturkeycanoe wildturkeycanoe 4:15 pm 23 Aug 13

poetix said :

How long did it take you to work that out? In gas bottle hours?

Coffee bean minutes actually, but I’m thinking my figures are a little skewed because I didn’t take into account long service leave, GST, hoodies [though they are probably tax deductible] and the cost of the bolt cutters.
tim_c – could have been a charity event for the weekend. If the crims used that as an excuse, there’s a lot more tax loopholes to get through…

IrishPete IrishPete 3:56 pm 23 Aug 13

pronounced BLEVY, spelt BLEVE.

IrishPete IrishPete 3:55 pm 23 Aug 13

bundah said :

Yes but like a firey once told me if you get a gas leak from a LPG tank get the hell out of the area fast

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Y2wcipQl4

It’s called a BLEVY, though I don’t think that video is the best (scariest) example of it.

IP

tim_c tim_c 2:42 pm 23 Aug 13

We were in Civic yesterday evening and stopped at a pedestrian crossing for a bloke wheeling a shopping trolley with at least two gas cylinders in it – it was probably about 6:30 or 6:45pm. I didn’t really think much of it except that perhaps he was planning a big BBQ for the weekend.

bundah bundah 10:30 am 23 Aug 13

Russ said :

Thumper said :

johnboy said :

Just wait for the ATM’s to start cooking up around town.

Yep. Fill them with gas and then blow them to kingdom come….

LPG is a poor choice for blowing things up – it has a very narrow stoichiometric range where you get a rate of burn that’s explosive – too much or too little gas relative to air and you just get either no combustion, or at best a mild “foomp”.

Oxy-acetylene on the other hand…

Yes but like a firey once told me if you get a gas leak from a LPG tank get the hell out of the area fast

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_Y2wcipQl4

Here_and_Now Here_and_Now 10:29 am 23 Aug 13

johnboy said :

Just wait for the ATM’s to start cooking up around town.

‘ATM’s’? You did that on purpose! >:(

IrishPete IrishPete 10:10 am 23 Aug 13

At close to $40 a full cylinder swap and go, they do have some value. And that’s without the value of the bottle ($25 in Supercheapauto). But swap and go is just $20 at Bunnings.

IP

Russ Russ 10:08 am 23 Aug 13

Thumper said :

johnboy said :

Just wait for the ATM’s to start cooking up around town.

Yep. Fill them with gas and then blow them to kingdom come….

LPG is a poor choice for blowing things up – it has a very narrow stoichiometric range where you get a rate of burn that’s explosive – too much or too little gas relative to air and you just get either no combustion, or at best a mild “foomp”.

Oxy-acetylene on the other hand…

bundah bundah 10:06 am 23 Aug 13

johnboy said :

The point is that as bottles for resale they’re pretty low value.

But as untraceable safe busters…. that’s worth some money.

Well if there’s a spate of explosions in the near future we heard it here first..

poetix poetix 10:03 am 23 Aug 13

wildturkeycanoe said :

8 locations across Canberra, average travel say 40km return = 320km. Fuel at $1.60/L with say 10L/100km consumption makes it an investment of $51.20. You can get those 8.5kg bottles at around $27 for exchange, so selling them at less than that. say $20/bottle makes a sales figure of $1160. If each job took around an hour or so, with travel time included, and there were 2 men involved, that makes 8 hours per man, split profits two ways, deducting travel costs, equals $69.23 per hour. If these jobs were done outside normal working hours, taking OT rates into consideration it works out at a rate of $34.61 per hour. Some casual work pays as much in the right fields without the risk of prosecution.
Now they just need to find 58 friends who own BBQs or camper trailers who wouldn’t get suspicious and dob them in.
Personally, I’d be more concerned these will be used as some kind of crude explosive.

How long did it take you to work that out? In gas bottle hours?

460cixy 460cixy 9:55 am 23 Aug 13

I’m not defending the theft of these cylinders but seriously this swap and go is the biggest ripoff going

bundah bundah 9:31 am 23 Aug 13

wildturkeycanoe said :

8 locations across Canberra, average travel say 40km return = 320km. Fuel at $1.60/L with say 10L/100km consumption makes it an investment of $51.20. You can get those 8.5kg bottles at around $27 for exchange, so selling them at less than that. say $20/bottle makes a sales figure of $1160. If each job took around an hour or so, with travel time included, and there were 2 men involved, that makes 8 hours per man, split profits two ways, deducting travel costs, equals $69.23 per hour. If these jobs were done outside normal working hours, taking OT rates into consideration it works out at a rate of $34.61 per hour. Some casual work pays as much in the right fields without the risk of prosecution.
Now they just need to find 58 friends who own BBQs or camper trailers who wouldn’t get suspicious and dob them in.
Personally, I’d be more concerned these will be used as some kind of crude explosive.

Given that there’s a reasonable chance that the thieves are on the dole the time/money equation matters little so long as it pays for their addiction. Of course there is, as you say, the possibility that the thieves may have sinister intent and intend to use the bottles as an explosive, but hopefully not.

    johnboy johnboy 9:40 am 23 Aug 13

    The point is that as bottles for resale they’re pretty low value.

    But as untraceable safe busters…. that’s worth some money.

Thumper Thumper 9:13 am 23 Aug 13

johnboy said :

Just wait for the ATM’s to start cooking up around town.

Yep. Fill them with gas and then blow them to kingdom come….

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