Gasoline thefts on the rise

April 29, 2008 9:01:30 PM PDT
They're the new bandit in town. It's not your house you have to protect.

It's your automobile, specifically your gas tank.

For at least two victims we spoke with, it was a rude awakening to find their gas tanks emptied by thieves.

Dave Glavis of Cherry Hill, New Jersey parks his 1996 Ford F-150 right in front of his home. Monday night he spent 94 dollars to fill his tank so he could be ready to head off to work as a rental property manager. But overnight someone had siphoned the gas out of his truck.

"What it turned out being, someone had stolen the gas from my entire front tank," said Glavis.

"I'm just angry about--you know--maybe if it was a sports car, not a work truck. I can see maybe somebody wanting to take it but I need it to support my family."

But Dave Glavis is not alone. Victoria Strauss of Cherry Hill also fell victim.

With gas prices approaching four dollars a gallon, it may come as little surprise to hear stories like these. At the Dorjul apartments in Wilmington, Delaware Monday, someone broke into a laundry room and removed a water hose to siphon gasoline from cars parked outside. The vandalism caused flooding in four apartments.

These incidents are reminiscent of the gasoline crisis of 1973 where gas had to be rationed. Like now, there was a problem with thieves siphoning gas from people's tanks.

It's one of the main reasons people have been heading to auto part stores to buy locking gas caps.

"We even sell them in two packs for dual tanks. I would suggest it, it's a good idea," said Tony Nolasco of Advanced Auto Parts.