Gas Thefts Turn Violent as Station Owner Is Killed by Thief

Alabama station owner was run over as vehicle drive made his getaway


FORT PAYNE, Ala. (AP) - A gas station owner was run over and killed when he tried to stop a driver from leaving without paying for $52 worth of gasoline, police said.

The driver had not been apprehended Sunday, and police Chief David Walker said the case was being investigated as a robbery-homicide.

Witnesses told police that Husain Caddi, owner of Fort Payne Texaco, "grabbed onto the vehicle" Friday when the driver began to drive off.

Caddi was dragged across the parking lot and onto a highway, where he fell to the pavement and was run over by the late model sport utility vehicle's rear wheel, Walker said.

"Other vehicles were leaving the station's lot and there was a great deal of traffic on the roadway near the station at the time," Walker said.

Caddi, 54, later died at a hospital, Walker said.

Police said the driver was in his 20s or 30s.

Gas prices have surged to a nationwide average of $2.55 a gallon.

(c) 2005 Associated Press