Gas Theft is On the Rise: Police Share How to Protect Yourself

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Written by Bernie Carr

Just a quick post today as I share a news item that caught my attention.

With gas prices skyrocketing throughout the country, there have been reports of thieves stealing gas in a number of areas.

“This is a sign of the times you know,” AAA’s Doug Shupe said. “It’s thieves looking for ways that they can make money by stealing what is becoming an increasingly more expensive and valuable commodity, gasoline.”

Source: Fox11

It’s not just the cost of the gas that may affect victims. It may also be damage to the gas tank: if the criminal punches a hole in the gas, the repair could cost $1,000 or more.

Where is this happening?

So far, I have seen reports from various areas in the country and Canada:
Atlanta, GA:

On March 2nd, 2022, officers were patrolling around Hosea L. Williams Dr. and Rogers St when they spotted the suspect vehicle believed to be involved in the vehicle larcenies and stolen petroleum. During these crimes, the suspect involved appeared to have used a tool to drill a hole into the gas tanks of the victims’ vehicles resulting in hundreds or thousands of dollars of extra costs to the victim for gas tank repairs.

SOURCE: Atlanta Police Department

Los Angeles, CA:

While gas prices continue to hit record highs, some people in Southern California are now resorting to gasoline theft.

A FOX 11 viewer shared photos of what happened to a vehicle — a thief drilled a hole in the fuel tank, draining all the gas. AAA is seeing a rise in gas siphoning and theft across the country, and now they’re warning car owners about how to keep their vehicles safe.


Henderson, NV

“I thought people would try to syphon the old fashion way with a hose,” Jacob said. “Came home from work with about a quarter tank of gas, parked on the street right here where I usually do. Saturday night, I went over to my brother’s less than five minutes away and when I left his house to come home, I noticed I was on ‘E’ which I thought was a little weird. I thought maybe someone may have syphoned me. I didn’t think much of it, went to the gas station, tried to put some gas in and just saw a waterfall of gas coming out of my truck.”

Jacob says the crook probably only got about $10 worth of gas for a repair that will cost him hundreds. He knows how the fix it himself, but he posted about what happened on NextDoor, where neighbors say it happened to them, too. Their repair bills were between $1,500 and $1,800.


Ontario, Canada

Canadian daycare facility saw the gas tanks on three of its vans drilled into and gas removed from their tanks over the weekend, leaving over 80 children without their normal ride to the facility, the Winnipeg Free Press reported.

SOURCE: Newsweek

How can you tell if your gas has been siphoned?

It can be initially difficult to tell if your gas has been siphoned. Keep track of your fuel level before you leave your car and check the level hasn’t changed when you return. You may also be able to notice scratches or damage on your gas cap if theives tried to steal your gas.

How do you protect yourself?

The Renton Police Department in Renton, WA offers these tips:

Invest in a quality locking gas cap (even if your fuel door locks) to help make it inconvenient for a thief to steal your liquid gold. Some cheaper versions can be defeated by an aggressive twist or drilled through so it can then be removed. So choose wisely.

Try to park in well-lit, well-traveled locations.

Avoid parking in public places for extended periods of time. For example, rather than leaving your car in the airport parking lot for a week, ask a friend or neighbor for a ride.

Position your vehicle so the fuel door can be seen from a main road.

If you utilize park and ride locations, try to park in outer-perimeter parking spots for increased visibility from passersby.

Begin carpooling with friends or co-workers to minimize the necessity of parking your vehicle in a parking garage or large parking lot.

Remember to call 911 if you see suspicious behavior such as someone putting a siphon into a gas tank or squatting near or underneath park cars.

If you possess large fuel containers for business or personal reasons, evaluate what can be done to better secure and/or reinforce them from easy access.

SOURCE: Renton PD Facebook page

If you do park in your driveway, install motion detector lights as well as outdoor cameras that allow you to see what’s going on outside.

With the continuing increases in gas prices, this new problem of gas theft may spread to other areas. Be vigilant and stay safe!

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About the author:

Bernie Carr is the founder of Apartment Prepper. She has written several books including the best-selling Prepper’s Pocket Guide, Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure, The Penny-Pinching Prepper and How to Prepare for Most Emergencies on a $50 a Month Budget. Bernie’s latest e-book, FRUGAL DIY has just been released on Amazon. Her work appears in sites such as the Allstate Blog and, as well as print magazines such as Backwoods Survival Guide and Prepper Survival Guide. She has been featured in national publications such as Fox Business and Popular Mechanics. Learn more about Bernie here.

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  1. Just finished with the installation of security cameras and the next move will be to install motion sensor lights along the driveway. The final deterrent would be a driveway gate where we can park behind the perimeter from the front of the house. Not sure if it will do the job but I did remember Law Enforcement saying if you make yourself a difficult target for criminals they will move on an easier one.

    1. Hi Carlos, That is a smart move, installing security cameras and sensor lights along your driveway. Have a closed gate is good too. You are already more protected than your neighbors. Thanks for the comment.

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