Empire Scammers

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Empire Scammers

Postby mars » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:46 am

Okay, so a few years ago lots and lots of burners had flat tires on 447 near empire and, rumor had it, the people at the empire gas station had put tacks in the road so they could sell tires. I didn't necessarily believe this rumor, however, this DID happen (which makes me believe that rumor might have been true):

We pull into empire gas at 11:30pm on Sunday night. Before I even open my door, the attendant has the gas hose in my vehicle and he's already pumping the gas. He says to me, "You lost your gas cap." What? "You pulled in without a gas cap, you must have lost it". I think back to the last gas stop. I had pumped the gas and I specifically remembered having put it back on. I'm a bit suspicious but I have to pee really bad.

While I'm gone, my partner asks him if he has any spare gas caps. He says, "Sure, people leave them here all the time. I'll sell you one for 10 bucks." He leaves and returns with 8 or nine gas caps and asks my partner which one he wants. He says he'll take whatever fits. So they start trying on gas caps and finally one of them fits.

I come back, hear we have a new gas cap and we leave. As we're driving down the road, I start thinking this through. I remember that we had a little leash on our gas cap and there is just no way we could have lost it. I become certain that the guy pulled it off. So we pull our caravan of folks over to the side of the road, get a flashlight and take a look at the gas cap. Sure enough, as I had come to believe would be the case, our original gas cap was on the vehicle. The guy had sold us our own cap!

On one hand I find this extremely humorous. But on the other hand, I am enraged that he is probably doing this to many people and making big bucks over the week by making us look like fools.

So here is what I want to know:

1. Did this happen to anyone else?

2. Any good ideas for revenge?

3. How do you think I should handle it at this point?
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Postby Kenny Z » Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:21 pm

God, now my head is churning. We had somebody in our camp or was visiting our camp with the same gas cap story. They ended up buying their own one back.

If this is really happening, it needs to be reported. Hopefully if enough complaints are filed, there will be an investigation.
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Postby mars » Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:34 pm

That somebody might have been me or someone from my camp. We were at 8:30 and Corvair. You?
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Postby ygmir » Tue Sep 02, 2008 1:36 pm

perhaps you could tear his left arm off and offer to trade it for your gas cap?..........
I know, cruel, but, maybe funny........
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Postby Kenny Z » Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:06 pm

double post
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Postby Kenny Z » Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:06 pm

mars wrote:That somebody might have been me or someone from my camp. We were at 8:30 and Corvair. You?


Holy small world! Yup, 8:30 and Corvair for me too! We had the small red, white, and blue mutant vehicle along with a big white van, red and white VW camper bus.

Who are you!?!?
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Postby mars » Tue Sep 02, 2008 2:08 pm

Yup! I'm Neon, campmate with the famous TwelveTeen and the Big Mint crew.
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Postby Kenny Z » Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:08 pm

Cool! You were a great camp and really enjoyed you guys! Thanks for putting up with our loudness!

In regards to the Empire garage. You should make some signs and post them along your route to BRC next year telling people to beware of the empire garage. Maybe even make some flyers with your experience printed on it. Then place a flyer stand near the garage where people will be but far enough away that the garage won't notice for some time.

Getting the word out is the best revenge. People need to be aware in order to prevent these situations. When the word starts spreading and finally makes it's way back to the garage, hopefully they will realize they will need to change their ways.

Otherwise, with the rate Burning Man is growing along with more and more events taking place out there, it's just a matter of time before the competition starts rolling in.
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Postby ZaphodBurner » Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:15 pm

Kenny Z wrote:
mars wrote:That somebody might have been me or someone from my camp. We were at 8:30 and Corvair. You?


Holy small world! Yup, 8:30 and Corvair for me too! We had the small red, white, and blue mutant vehicle along with a big white van, red and white VW camper bus.



Hey, far out! Did the VW bus have brewer art on the nose and a shower set up on the roof? We were camped on 8:30 between Bonneville and Corvair in a silver Ford van; I think we were your neighbor's neighbor.
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Postby gyre » Tue Sep 02, 2008 3:53 pm

Don't fuck around.
This is criminal.
It probably extends to destroying engines and tens of thousands in theft and fraud.
Call the police, the sheriff, the DA and the media in the area.
Also chambers of commerce, local government, etc.
And contact the burning man office and legal groups.
And I would contact every attorney in the area (sometimes the best revenge). Someone may already be suing them.
You can bet someone will eventually.

And keep reminding everyone.
Try to get a warning in Jackrabbit.

Remind me by email and I'll try to post signs in october as I go through.
Maybe I could spread some flyers around too?
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Postby Toolmaker » Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:16 pm

Set them up..

engrave the inside of gascaps thats from abunch of oddball vehicles.

have a cam ready

bust em and call 911 with the film handy

if there is no arrest than move on to the da etc etc
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Postby mars » Tue Sep 02, 2008 4:32 pm

Quick update: I called the Gerlach Sheriff's Substation and they directed me to file a report online, which I just finished.
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Postby Kenny Z » Tue Sep 02, 2008 6:17 pm

[quote="ZaphodBurner"][quote="Kenny Z"][quote="mars"]That somebody might have been me or someone from my camp. We were at 8:30 and Corvair. You?[/quote]

Holy small world! Yup, 8:30 and Corvair for me too! We had the small red, white, and blue mutant vehicle along with a big white van, red and white VW camper bus.

[/quote]

Hey, far out! Did the VW bus have brewer art on the nose and a shower set up on the roof? We were camped on 8:30 between Bonneville and Corvair in a silver Ford van; I think we were your neighbor's neighbor.[/quote]

Yeah, yeah! That was me! We had some good neighbors this year! Were you the guys who made the soda? That cream soda ruled. I hope you got to get some of our carne asada.

Oh and Mars, good job calling and making a report. Hopefully others that got scammed will do the same.
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Postby mdmf007 » Tue Sep 02, 2008 9:36 pm

I would like to see Bruno and the Empire Gas Stations investigated forgouging and price collusion. Both of their rates go up a few weeks ago, and exceed the states average. -

Distance has nothing to fo with the rates either.
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Postby poisenloaf » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:27 pm

I wonder if this is the same gas station that more than half the pumps were not accepting credit cards so you had to go inside and wait in this stupid ass long line.. probably just a ploy to get you inside the store so you might buy snacks.
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Postby dj_john69 » Tue Sep 02, 2008 10:40 pm

The Empire gas station has been a fucking pain in the ass for years. They are all drunks and rude as fuck.

FYI...after this burn, the current tenants are losing the store. I believe the actual owner will take over from here on out.
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Postby skibear » Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:00 am

Bruno's gas station is always high price.
WTF do you expect for the middle of nowhere.

I remember getting gas there in January a couple
years ago and they were 50 cents higher than other
NV stations.
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Postby unjonharley » Wed Sep 03, 2008 7:38 am

I was Rock and Roll @ 8:30 & C street..

Never did get that coffee..(Neon)

My gass cap key fits the rest of the van..

Keep reporting this station until the police can't stand it anymore..
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Postby mars » Wed Sep 03, 2008 12:16 pm

Received this morning:


Your Online Police Report Has Been Approved
Date: September 3, 2008 10:37:17 AM PDT
Reply-To: sheriff-ereports@washoecounty.us
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Postby benthegrate » Wed Sep 03, 2008 2:54 pm

We got screwed by the Empire station as well. Our trailer had a blowout and the Empire station said they had a similar size tired to sell us. They charged $40 but said they couldn't mount the tire (despite the fact that the mounting equipment was right there) and that I'd have to go to Gerlach to get it mounted.

I was in stress mode and didn't check the tire, which I should have done. When we got it to Gerlach they showed us a massive rip in the side wall. Obviously this was why the Empire station wouldn't mount it for us.

I'm contesting the charge and filing a police report.
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Postby mars » Wed Sep 03, 2008 4:37 pm

Washoe County Sheriff's Office has an online police report you can fill out.
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Postby mars » Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:13 am

Check this out...hurry, I don't know how long it will last:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerlach,_Nevada

Read the section called "Economy"--last few lines...
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Postby mars » Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:14 am

I mean, last few lines in first paragraph, under Economy.
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Postby unjonharley » Sun Sep 07, 2008 11:36 am

I pull out of my yard for the trip to BM with "everything" I need.. This includes gas a munchies.. I avoid small towns other than passing through.. On the return trip I gas up in larger citys to avoid the problems in this thread.. If I stallout completely, I have road service that I pay one hell of a lot for..

I would suggest you all follow in my foot steps..

Oh! This includes pre payed Life Flight.. Also pre payed body disposal..
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Postby Intubater69 » Sun Sep 07, 2008 12:45 pm

mars wrote:Check this out...hurry, I don't know how long it will last:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerlach,_Nevada

Read the section called "Economy"--last few lines...


Holy Shit!! It's even made wikipedia :shock:
I get to drive the ambulance how fast?!!

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Postby mars » Sun Sep 07, 2008 4:38 pm

Further update...

I called the owner of the store. She was unapologetic and defensive. She asked me if I had a receipt to prove I paid $10 for a gas cap. Like, right, the guy is going to scam me and then give me a receipt to prove it!

Anyway, as a result of her unfriendly attitude, I just finished filling out a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. They will contact her within 48 hrs.

Interesting side note: she told me she had heard about my story already. At first I thought she meant this had happened to other people as well, but apparently, she heard my exact story, about me, not someone else.

So i guess my "community education" campaign is working!
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Postby gyre » Sun Sep 07, 2008 6:26 pm

From Wikipedia

The economies of Gerlach and Empire focus on gypsum mining near Empire, tourism in the nearby Black Rock Desert, and hunting. Empire is the classic company town of the United States Gypsum Corporation (USG). All residents of Empire work for USG and USG owns the properties and buildings. The Empire gypsum mine is the longest continually operating mine in the US. Most mines were shut down during WWII as resources were diverted to the war. For some reason it was determined gypsum was 'essential' and this one never closed. The town has a church, a public pool, a 9-hole golf course, a post office (89405), and Empire Airport for light planes. There is also a day care facility for the employees of Empire, and a convenience store with a gas station -- the only store for more than 50 miles (80 km). Gas is generally about 40 cents per gallon cheaper at the Empire store versus the Shell station in Gerlach, however the Shell station is 24/7 for credit card users and the Empire store has been known to scam people by selling unusable tires and stealing your gas caps so you'll buy one from them.


Hey Mars, want to help me promote the Souvenir Shop next year?
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Postby mars » Sun Sep 07, 2008 6:35 pm

gyre wrote:Hey Mars, want to help me promote the Souvenir Shop next year?


Sure! Just make sure you stay on my good side!!!! :twisted:
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Postby unjonharley » Sun Sep 07, 2008 6:38 pm

mars wrote:
gyre wrote:Hey Mars, want to help me promote the Souvenir Shop next year?


Sure! Just make sure you stay on my good side!!!! :twisted:


What is your main sale item?

Gas caps?
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Postby gyre » Sun Sep 07, 2008 6:45 pm

Official burning man llc souvenirs.
Vintage ashes from the burns.
The plastic glow-in-the-dark Larry Harvey for your dashboard.
Maybe mass produced jewelry made out of crap left after the man burns?
And, of course, smoke from the various burns.
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