Bethoncourt police said they were called around 10 p.m. Saturday by a resident who was concerned about the 50 cars lined up to use a pump at a supermarket gas station next door, and officers arrived to find the pump had been tampered with to dispense free gasoline, Radio France Internationale reported Wednesday.
Police said they encountered "a certain hostility" when telling the motorists they were breaking the law, and officers had to call for backup to help them disperse the waiting drivers.
Officers said they took down several license plate numbers and the motorists likely will face theft charges.
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