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December 23, 2015

WATCH: Suspect sought in string of thefts of fuel tanks in Northeast Philly

Police Theft
propane thefts Philadelphia Police /for PhillyVoice

The Philadelphia Police are seeking help to identify this man, who police believe, is responsible for a string of thefts of fuel tanks from businesses throughout Northeast Philly.

Philadelphia police are seeking help from the public to identify a man who, police believe is responsible for a string of thefts of fuel tanks at businesses in the city's Torresdale and Frankford sections, earlier this month. 

According to police, the man can be seen on surveillance video, stealing propane and acetylene tanks during at least three incidents, beginning on Dec. 16. 

Law enforcement officials said that police initially learned of the incidents on Dec. 17 at about 7:59 a.m., when police received a report of a theft that had occurred between the hours of 4:30 p.m. on Dec. 16 and 7:30 a.m. on Dec. 17. 

Police said at some time between those hours, the suspect gained entry into the rear yard of James D Morrissey Inc., located in the 4700 block of Pennypack Street, by cutting the chain that secured the gate and then broke into a propane enclosure there. 

The thief made off with five 100-pound propane tanks, four 33-pound propane tanks and two 20-pound propane tanks from the business, for a total loss of about $3,000, police said. 

WATCH the surveillance video here: 

On Dec. 16 at about 10:24 p.m., police said the same individual could be seen on surveillance video gaining entry to Phax-Air, located on the 2300 block of Church Street, by cutting a hole in the security fence and driving what appeared to be a Dodge Caravan into the yard. 

Once inside, police said, the man took 12 propane forklift tanks, four 40-pound propane tanks, four 60-pound propane tanks and four 100-pound propane tanks, for a total loss of $4,800 before he fled. 

The most recent incident, law enforcement officials said, occurred Dec. 22, at about 1:42 a.m., when two men, operating what police said was a Ford Escape entered an unsecured parking lot of Phax-Air

Surveillance video shows a man in the front passenger seat exit the vehicle and climb over a 6-foot, razor-topped fence. He then leaves the view of the cameras before returning to the fence.

The man can be seen throwing several propane tanks over the fence, before climbing back over it and loading the tanks into the vehicle. Police said the vehicle then fled in an unknown direction. 

In that case, six acetylene tanks – used primarily for welding – were stolen. 

Anyone who can help identify the individual, or individuals, involved in these robberies is asked to contact the Philadelphia Police can be contacted at 215-686-8477 or text a tip to 773847. 

Also, tips can be sent anonymously to police here.