LAC LA BELLE, Mich. (WJMN) – The Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Office is investigating an attempted fuel theft that occurred last week on the east shore of Lac La Belle. Keweenaw County Sheriff Deputies initially responded to report of a fuel oil spill on Lac La Belle on Thursday, May 19 at approximately 2:35 p.m. 

The sheriff’s office says the spill is believed to be the result of an attempted theft from a fuel tank associated with a commercial fishing operation that is leasing dock space at the location. The tank was not being used by the fishing operation and was empty with the exception of remaining fuel at the bottom of the tank and fuel lines. 

It is believed the thieves cut the fuel line on the tank in an apparent attempt to siphon the remaining fuel. The sheriff’s office says someone filled or at least tried to fill containers and spilled some of the fuel onto the ground in the process.

The cut line and remnants of the tank were left to run into the lake. The fuel spill was categorized as small and was contained late Thursday afternoon. Mitigation efforts are currently ongoing.

The incident is believed to have happened late in the evening of May 18 or early in the morning of May 19. Someone living nearby reported hearing a large truck idling near the location at approximately 4:00 a.m. on the morning of May 19.

Investigation into the incident remains ongoing. The Keweenaw County Sheriff’s Office is asking for your help to identify the person or persons and vehicle involved in this incident. Tips about the incident are asked to be called into (906) 337-0528.

Deputies were assisted by the Department of Natural Resources, Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy, MJO contracting in conjunction with the United States Coast Guard, and Houghton County Emergency Management Coordinator Chris Van Arsdale.