Fuel Theft On The Rise - The News Junkie
The News Junkie: Fuel Theft On The Rise

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Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Fuel Theft On The Rise

Thieves Increasingly Drilling Into Fuel Tanks To Steal Gas:

gas theft

DETROIT — Dale Fortin is getting a new kind of customer at his Detroit auto repair shop, customers who have not just been in a fender-bender or had a windshield smashed by a rock.

The soaring price of crude oil has turned gas tanks into a cache of valuable booty, and Fortin has replaced several tanks punctured or drilled by thieves thirsting for the nearly $4-a-gallon fuel inside.

"That's the new fad," said the co-owner of Dearborn Auto Tech in Detroit. "I'd never seen it before gas got up this high."

While gas station drive-offs and siphoning are far more common methods of stealing gas, reports of tank and line puncturing are starting to trickle into police departments and repair shops across the country.

Some veteran mechanics and law enforcement officers say it's an unwelcome return of a crime they first saw during the Middle East oil embargo of the early 1970s.

The photo above is the ultimate sign that gas prices have blasted through what anyone could deem an affordable price. It was snapped in Eureka, Missouri and the siphon was left dangling in broad daylight. At damn near $4.00 a gallon in most places, it costs more than $50 to fill up the average tank. But how much really is too much? If gas hits $5.00 or $6.00 will the flood to public transportation increase? Though oil prices have dropped in the past few days most analysts predict that gas prices will rise before they fall. So, odds are, we may be seeing more scenes like the one above playing out in cities across this country. It might be time for a locking gas cap.

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