Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations

Thieves may have caused Santa Maria gas leak that forced evacuation

Google Maps Street View

Investigators in Santa Maria are looking into a major gas leak early Tuesday morning that forced the evacuation of approximately 150 people.

Residents of a large senior housing complex called Rancho Garden were removed from the area while utility crews worked to shut off the gas.

Fire Chief Dan Orr says it appears damage to the main gas line was the result of thieves looking for scrap medal to sell.

He says investigators have a possible lead based on a nearby burglary that happened around the same time.

"The police believe that it may be the same people who were trying to take apart the gas valve," said Orr. "Now that's all suspicion at this point and there's no suspects, but at 2:30 this morning that was kind of the thought as we work down this road."

Tools used to dismantle the pipe were also found scattered around the area of the gas leak.

Related Content