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Thief empties fuel tank, steals water, not gas

DELAND -- A thief broke into a cemetery Thursday night and drained a 250-gallon fuel tank expecting gasoline but instead left with about 200 gallons of water, police said.

"I like it. It's a good one," said DeLand police Sgt. John Anderson of the incident.

According to a police report, 225 gallons of gasoline used to operate maintenance equipment was reported stolen in July from DeLand Memorial Gardens, 600 E. Beresford Ave.

Maintenance supervisor Howard Shepard told police after the theft he stopped storing gasoline in the tank and used it instead to hold water.
On Thursday night, police suspect the same thief returned and siphoned out the water, worth about $50, probably thinking it was gasoline.
Shepard declined comment and referred questions to his manager.

Police are looking for whoever stole the water. The thief or thieves also caused about $600 in damages by breaking a meter attached to the tank.
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