Nebraska Woman Accused Of Using Pump Glitch To Get $27,000 Worth Of Gas

A woman in Lincoln, Nebraska, is facing a felony theft charge after she allegedly took advantage of a gas pump glitch to get more than $27,000 worth of free fuel.

Dawn Thompson, 45, was arrested on March 6 and charged with one count of theft by unlawful taking of $5,000 or more, according to Lincoln CBS affiliate KOLN.

Investigators allege that Thompson pumped an estimated 7,413 gallons of gas at a Pump & Pantry gas station over a six-month period, with a total loss of $27,860.27.

Thompson was allegedly able to access the free fuel because of a glitch that arose after the gas station changed the order in which customers swiped their payment and rewards cards, according to Lincoln ABC affiliate KLKN.

The glitch allowed people to use their rewards card instead of a debit or credit card. Thompson allegedly figured out that when a rewards card was swiped twice, the pump switched into a “demo mode” that let a customer get free gas.

Police said Thompson first received the rewards card she used from a man who needed to pay off a car debt. According to police, the man could not be contacted because he is now deceased.

Thompson didn’t just get free gas for herself, investigators allege. Police said another woman told them that she paid Thompson between $500 and 700 for “discounted fuel.”

The woman also told police that Thompson sold the rewards card in June 2023, right around the time the glitch was fixed.

Thompson was released from jail after paying $7,500 bond. She is due in court April 11.