Another 'Gift' from Joe Biden: Police Departments Report Spike in Gas Thefts amid Rising Fuel Prices
March 15, 2022: It's not enough that Joe Biden's failed policies have imploded the American economy. Now, we are able to confirm that violent and non-violent crime rates are soaring in direct correlation to soaring gas and consumer product prices.
Police Departments Report Spike In Gas Thefts Amid Rising Fuel Prices
By: Allan Stein
With sharply rising gasoline prices come nefarious methods criminals use to avoid the pain at the pump.
Several police departments in the United States and Canada report an increase in so-called drive-off gasoline thefts. In some cases, tools were used to puncture and drain gas tanks. “We put out some social media recently warning people that we are seeing a few cases of suspects using power drills to puncture a hole and siphon gas,” said Kerby Duncan, acting public information officer for the Everett Police Department in Washington state.
“There have only been a few cases of this and we wanted to educate our community on how to protect themselves, [but] with sharply rising gas prices, we would expect to see more,” Duncan said.
At a family-owned gas station in Houston last week, gas thieves reportedly siphoned 1,000 gallons of diesel from an underground tank using a minivan equipped with a trap door. The estimated value of the fuel was $5,000.
In the city of Hoquiam, Washington, Police Chief Jeff Myers said that gas theft is getting worse with soaring fuel prices.
“What else goes up with high gas prices? Gas theft,” Myers posted on Facebook.
“The cost of gas going up and up almost daily, plus overall inflation at 7.5 percent, puts a real bind on the old wallet. This also triggers those who don’t want to pay to have an incentive to steal your hard-earned gas … sometimes right out of your own car,” Myers wrote.
In San Diego on March 15, a gallon of regular cost $5.35 and as much as $6.09. In Flagstaff, Arizona, where prices are generally much lower, a gallon of regular nicked you $4.58 or more.
“If you have the ability it is a good idea to purchase a locking gas cap,” Myers wrote. “Also, be aware that thieves will crawl under a larger vehicle such as a pick-up or large truck and cut the rubber filler neck leading to the tank in order to siphon out the fuel.”
Myers said that victims of gas theft often discover they’ve been robbed when they go to buy gas and fuel is leaking from under the vehicle.
Image above: Gas prices went up at least 10 cents a gallon in less than 24 hours at many East Texas gas stations on March 9, 2022, forcing local residents to cut travel and vacation plans.
“Even with a locking gas cap it is always good to park your vehicle in a visible and well-lit area. Make sure to keep an eye out in your neighborhood for suspicious persons or vehicles lingering in the area,” he said.
The Shasta County (California) Sheriff’s Office was also warning drivers to be on alert for gas theft as prices spike higher.
“Of course, purchasing a locking gas cap and parking in a visible, well-lit area are on the top of the list, thieves have begun cutting filler lines and puncturing gas tanks to steal gasoline rather than siphoning,” the agency posted on Facebook.
“Hole[s] are being drilled in the tank or lines are being cut that lead to an expensive repair for the vehicle owner. Locking gas caps or anti-siphoning devices help with siphoning fuel.” The agency advises drivers to avoid parking in dark places for long periods of time as these can attract gas thieves. Also, position the vehicle so the gas tank or cover can be easily seen.
“Extra lighting in front of your residence or parking area is always a good idea along with the presence of surveillance cameras,” the agency added.
While Phoenix, Arizona, police said they have not seen any increase in reports of gas theft, drivers were encouraged to park in secure, well-lit areas, said Police Sgt. Ann Justus.
Image above: Gas prices of more than $7.00 per gallon are posted at a downtown Los Angeles gas station on March 9, 2022.
At present, AAA does not track gas theft said association public relations manager Andrew Gross. But with modern vehicles, “you can no longer siphon gas from the tank [and] you have to poke a hole in it and drain it,” he told The Epoch Times.
Police in Sudbury, Ontario, Canada reported a “significant increase” in the number of “gas-and-dash” thefts across the region in recent weeks.
“In 2022 alone, we’ve had 35 gasoline drive-offs reported in Sudbury,” the department reported on Facebook. “This is a significant leap when compared to 32 gasoline drive-offs in all of 2021.
Sudbury police attribute the recent “unprecedented high gas prices” as the likely cause for the increase.
“However we remind motorists the theft of gas is a criminal offense that could result in arrest and charges. We urge business operators to consider using gasoline pumps equipped with prepayment technology,” the department added.
Duncan, of the Everett Police Department, said it’s also a good idea to park in garages or in high-traffic areas that are well-lit. Another deterrent is to place a camera with a sign warning potential thieves. Everett police are currently employing a “bait-car” program in an attempt to catch potential thieves.
“Locking gas caps do work in some cases if the suspect is using a hose to siphon gas, but won’t protect against a drill,” Duncan told The Epoch Times.
Source: The Epoch Times