Crime Prevention: Gas siphoning

“Every time I drive by the gas station, the price has gone up another few cents, sometimes more!”

How true that statement is and the end seems nowhere in sight!  Unfortunately, the more difficult something becomes to acquire, the more theft “value” it gains.  Fuel siphoning (stealing gas from a car’s gas tank) happens whether gas is $2.00 or $4.00 a gallon, but as the price increases the chances of it occurring also begin to inch their way up.

Thieves are always on the prowl looking for the easy take, and fuel is becoming such a commodity that it can be very enticing for them.  Fortunately, there are some preventive steps that you can take to avoid being a victim of fuel theft.

A locking gas cap is probably the best defense as it is extremely rare for a thief to put forth the effort required to break into a tank with a locked cap.  It can be a slight inconvenience, but to avoid finding you’re prematurely on empty,  it’s a wise investment.  Check with your favorite auto supply shop or vehicle dealership for the locking cap that will work for your car.

Many of the same prevention tactics used to prevent car burglaries or thefts can be employed in your fuel theft prevention strategy.  Park in areas you believe are generally safe and in a location that is highly visible to passersby and is always well lit.  When possible, park your vehicle in a position that allows for maximum visibility of the side of your car that contains the gas cap.

Watch your fuel level.  Some victims of fuel theft don’t actually realize that they are victims of theft, because the person committing the theft removes only very small quantities at a time, thinking you won’t notice.  Check your fuel gauge before leaving your car and monitor your usage.

One of the best tactics in fuel theft prevention is to “think like a thief.”  If you can envision a way that they may steal from you, chances are they have thought of that as well and it’s time to put some prevention tactics into action.

This article is provided by Crime Prevention Outreach via St. George Police Department, Capt. James Van Fleet.

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