Overland Park, Kansas (KCTV) – These days you’d probably pay $50 or more to refuel.
If that’s not enough pressure on your wallet, those high prices may cause people to steal gas directly from your tank. There have been three cases in less than three weeks in the Kansas City metro.
On February 26, Overland Park Police received a report from U-Haul near 76 and Metcalf that someone had dug into one of the rental truck’s fuel tanks overnight and drained it of gasoline.
“The first thing I thought was just, ‘Okay, that’s weird. I haven’t seen this kind of report in a long time. It’s been two years. “But now that we’ve had two more incidents in the area, it’s a bit concerning now,” said Officer John Lacey, Overland Park Police Department’s media officer. “I’m afraid if gas prices go up on us, we could see more of this.”
The next two thefts were at Istiklal. These police reports, filed on March 8 and March 9, include both pickups being hit overnight in the homeowners’ driveways. The two houses that hit are less than a mile apart. Both cars were 2006 Dodge Ram. One victim described a 30-gallon gas tank containing $100 worth of gasoline.
Update: The Kansas City Police initially said they had no such reports in their city. On Wednesday, a ministry spokesperson provided an update, saying they had received no more than a dozen such reports in recent weeks.
“It’s something we’re watching but it’s not a problem on the catalytic converter scale, with hundreds of them being stolen every year citywide,” the sergeant said. Jake Bichena.
If you get hit, it can cost you more than the gasoline taken, because thieves no longer steal gasoline.
“Newer vehicles have a ‘inversion’ valve between the fuel tank and the filler neck that is intended to prevent gas leakage, to reduce the possibility of a fire, in the event of a tipping over. This same valve makes gas suction more difficult,” says Shaun Steward, a spokeswoman for AAA Kansas. Thieves seeking the path of least resistance now access the fuel by drilling directly into the tank.”
AAA reports that the damage repair bill can be up to $1,000.
AAA offers the following tips to protect against gasoline theft:
- Park your car in the garage at your home if you have one.
- When you are out in public, park in a well-lit area with high traffic. If possible, park your car in a safe place such as a fenced parking lot or a parking garage.
- When parking in a garage, look for a spot near the exit or elevator because those places have the most visibility and foot traffic.
- If you park on the street, if possible, park with the fuel tank on the street side.
Lacey was concerned about that last tip. Sure, it can discourage a thief who doesn’t want to risk getting run over, but it can also injure someone.
His suggestions at home included parking in the garage if possible, as well as the following:
- Make sure the safety lighting is on.
- Activate the car alarm. Some are very sensitive, and the vibration of the drill may be enough to sound the alarm.
- Install security cameras or check the cameras that you must ensure that they are working. Police say the security footage often shows how thieves are caught before they do more damage.
The AAA recommends looking for the following signs if you suspect a gas theft:
- The smell of gas as you approach your car.
- Place a puddle under your vehicle near the location of your fuel tank.
- The car does not start.
- The car starts but the fuel gauge shows lower than it was the last time you drove.
- The check engine light (yellow) turns on.
The AAA recommends that victims of gas theft that may have damaged the vehicle:
- Call the police to file a report.
- Contact your insurance company to see if your policy covers related repairs.
- Take your vehicle to a trusted repair center as soon as possible.
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