Gas Thieves Are Drilling Into Vehicle Tanks

Perhaps you thought an old-fashioned siphon was the only way to steal gasoline from a vehicle, but thieves have other ways of accessing your gas tank. Heidi Perkins of Waxahachie, TX. spent $90 filling up her Dodge pickup. Yet, only a few days later her gauge was reading below empty, according to the Star-Telegram. She went to the gas station to refill and noticed the gasoline escaping from a freshly drilled hole in her gas tank. More, inside…

Many fuel tanks are equipped with rollover valves designed to cut off the flow of fuel when the vehicle rolls over. These valves, which are actually just small balls in the tank’s neck, have the added effect of blocking any siphoning tubes entering the tank. This has forced some thieves into cutting into the tank itself. Tommy Westerman, a mechanic at Westerly Automotive in west Fort Worth said, “I had a young lady who drives a little Cavalier, and someone had used a drill to make a hole in the tank. For a new tank and labor it was about $400. It does damage.”

Not all gasoline thieves are drilling tank holes. Some are cutting into the fuel filler tube which on some cars, runs along the underside of the vehicle. In these cases, trucks and SUVs are the popular targets since they sit higher off the ground.

Until auto-makers start designing vehicles to resist gasoline theft, authorities preach basic vehicle safety measures. Park in well-lit garages or driveways instead of the street. You can also install motion-sensitive security lights which could deter some would-be thieves. In addition, report any suspicious persons or activity occurring in parking lots. What tips do you have to help prevent the theft of gasoline from vehicles?

Gasoline thieves adopt a new drill
(Photo: Getty)

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