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By Frank Main and Dan Rozek
The Chicago Sun-Times

CHICAGO - He drove a Jaguar.
He claimed he was a cop.
And that was enough for Michael P. Wurm to fill up his tank with gas and drive away -- with a promise to pay later, police say.
In May and June, Wurm allegedly posed as a police officer to steal gas at least 10 times in at least four suburbs: Lincolnshire, Buffalo Grove, Naperville and Deerfield. He was busted by the State Police on July 24 for speeding on Interstate 55 near Illinois 83. He's in the DuPage County Jail.
Wurm, 26, of the 1400 block of West Cortez, told police he is actually a nightclub promoter.
"He basically said he was down on his luck," Lincolnshire police detective John-Erik Anderson said. "His promotions were not bringing in a lot of dough. He was hard up on cash."
On one Web site, Wurm boasts, "My charm is so contagious, vaccines have been created for it!" His charm also allowed him to con clerks out of gas, police said.
On May 18, he allegedly pulled up to the Lincolnshire Marathon at about 8:40 p.m., pumped $60 of gas, then told the attendant he forgot his wallet, but since he was a cop in neighboring Buffalo Grove, he'd be back in an hour to pay. Nobody at the station saw him again.
"He said, 'I have to report to work, then I'll come back,'" station owner George Thottapurathu said Thursday. "The cashier took it in good faith that since he was a police officer, he'd be back."
Wurm allegedly asked the cashier not to call Lincolnshire police because he didn't want to get in trouble with his own department.
The cashier took down his license plate number and allowed Wurm to leave. The black 2003 X-Type Jaguar had Fraternal Order of Police stickers, but Wurm never showed a law enforcement ID, police said.
The plate was stolen, police said.
"It's sad," Thottapurathu said.
According to the National Association of Convenience Stores, drive-off thefts cost U.S. service stations $134 million in 2007. Such ripoffs could easily top that this year with gas prices topping $4 a gallon, experts say.
High fuel prices have sparked a variety of scams, police say.
Last month, two men were arrested in Park Ridge after they disabled the price meter on a gas pump at a Shell station. The owner said he was losing gas for months but couldn't figure out why.
Also last month, a Tinley Park gas station reported someone put foil on a credit card transmitter to disable it, presumably to try to pass off bogus cards.

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When I was in high school I pumped gas in the evenings and one day the Sgt of the local pd was IN the station with me his cruiser sitting at the adjacent pump and some kids decided to try and skip out on didn't work out to well.
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