Thieves stealing gas, not the cars

May 28, 2008 5:24:35 AM PDT
Thieves who target your car these days may leave the car behind and take the gas.

Police are reporting an increase in gas tank-tapping -- the drilling or puncturing of gas tanks or gas lines to drain the petroleum booty that now averages almost $4 a gallon.

For veteran mechanics and law enforcement officers, it's reminiscent of the gas siphoning in the early 1970s during the Middle East oil embargo.

Pickup trucks and SUVs are most vulnerable to gas theft because of their height. Plastic tanks are often the target because they're safer to drill into.

It's not just gas and diesel that are being stolen. Restaurants from Berkeley, California, to Sedgwick, Kansas, are reporting thefts of old cooking oil worth thousands of dollars.