Well, the customer that stole the propane tank from our dumpster area still hasn't come back yet.
But he will.
And when he does, we'll catch him.
People do this all the time. Especially the regular customers that owe us money.
I once had a customer not come in for 2 years because he owed us for a pack of cigarettes. And the day he came back in again was the day I got him. I even charged him the current price for cigarettes even though we still had his old receipt taped up on our windowsill. The current price was $1.50 more than what he would have paid if he had given us the money for them two years ago.
Some customers never come back though. One of our regulars, who only had one arm, would always come in and buy a can of beer. One day he asked if we could spot him the $1.07 for his beer and I said okay. He said he'd come in the next day and pay us, but it's been about 6 years now and he hasn't been back. I probably won't pursue that one...he probably moved or is in jail by now.
My point is, if you owe your gas station something, they WILL wait until you come back in. Don't think we forget about this stuff after a few years. Well, at least my store doesn't forget about things like this.