KILLINGTON - A number of new security and accountability
measures have been put in place to prevent any future theft of
gasoline and diesel fuel from the Green Mountain National Golf
Course in Killington.
According to police and media accounts, James Miles, 27, of
Rutland, had been stealing from the 500-gallon tanks over a period
of several months in 2011. Caught red-handed at about 12:30 a.m. on
November 20, Miles led a police chase from Killington, to
Pittsfield, and back to Killington. A Vermont State Police trooper
spotted Miles in the Mill Mall parking lot in Bridgewater and
followed him onto a dead-end road. Police said Miles committed
suicide by shooting himself in the head.
Police found 21 empty five-gallon gas containers in his car, and
said he had left four full ones behind at the golf course.
Killington Town Manager Seth Webb summarized the theft and its
consequences during the regular selectboard meeting on April
Webb said rising fuel prices, combined with Tropical Storm Irene,
may have prevented the theft from being detected sooner.
"We all know there was a jump in fuel prices last year, but what
did that mean?" Webb told the board. "In some of the early phases
of detection, we saw prices start to rise and asked, 'What is
that?' Some of it was bills from the previous year we were paying
in the current year, and some of it was the rising cost of
In the end, according to Webb's analysis, Miles stole 4,812 gallons
of gasoline and 305 gallons of diesel fuel, a total of 5,117
gallons. Webb said he got away with $16,890 worth of gas and $1,040
in diesel, a total of $17,930.
"The town was not prepared for this sort of theft," Webb told the
board. "We did not have strong financial control over how invoices
That has since changed. Webb said in an April 30 conversation that
stricter measures for keeping track of fuel at the golf course have
been put in place. Among them: each employee will be required to
use a gas log, where every delivery will be checked weekly and
compared to invoices and receipts. Gas tank levels will be checked
regularly. The golf course's general manager will be required
to sign off on the gas bills before the town will pay them.
Stronger anti-theft measures are still to come: a video camera and
motion detector lights will be installed, as well as an access
gate. The gas caps will be under lock, key and chains. A new gas
gauge will be installed on a tank lacking one at present and four
people - the general manager, the superintendent, the assistant
superintendent and the mechanic - will have keys to the maintenance
building from where the tanks are operated.
Once the thefts
stopped, the town filed a $20,880 claim through its insurance
carrier at the Vermont League of Cities and Towns. The claim was
"The tanks were treated as property out in the open," Webb said.
"It covers things like dugouts and walkway lighting against damage
from natural disasters, lightning, and vandalism. But theft was not
specified as a cause of loss."
That does not mean the town is looking for another insurance
company, Webb said.
"The VCLT carrier is a nonprofit giving us the most comprehensive
policy at a great price," he said. "We believe the measures we've
adopted have the potential to ward off future thefts."
Webb told the board that the general fund would be able to cover