Gas prices in my area are averaging about $3.65/gallon. Apparently, this price is expensive enough to encourage people to steal gas from other people.

My buddy called me yesterday with a disturbing story. He drives a huge SUV and lives in a large gated apartment complex. He went to the gas station and filled up his monster SUV Sunday evening. Monday morning when he got in his car to go to work, he realized he had less than a 1/4 tank of gas left. He looked under the car to see if he possibly had a leak but did not see any evidence of a leak. His neighbor was also getting ready for work outside and he checked his vehicle and the same thing had happened to him. It was then that they both realized, SOMEONE HAD SIPHONED THE GAS FROM THEIR TANK! I'm not sure how many cars were involved in the complex.

I know gas has gotten expensive but that is ridiculous. Someone had the nerve to steal the gas right out of their gas tank. They both doubt it was someone they knew since they don't know any of the same people.

This made me start to worry about my car. I don't live too far from my buddy and my car usually stays parked at my house during the week because I drive a company vehicle. I don't have room to put it in the garage right now so it is parked outside in the driveway. If this is becoming a common occurrence, I want to make sure no one steals my gas.

I went on Amazon and ordered a locking gas cap. It was very reasonable and will hopefully help to deter any fuel theft.

17 comments

  1. Nicole // May 13, 2008 at 7:36 AM  

    That's sad. I know where I live, the gas stations have been having so many problems with people driving off that now almost everywhere you have to prepay.

  2. dreamy1 // May 13, 2008 at 8:09 AM  

    Gas here in CNY is 3.83 for the regular unleaded. It has gone up over 15 cents in one week, we are way above the national average. Anyways, the point of my comment is, there's been a rash of gas thefts right at the pump here, and I am pretty sure that locking gas caps are flying off the shelves. As with Nicole's comment, every gas station requires a prepay, and has since gas was $2.50/gallon 6 months ago.

  3. Paul // May 13, 2008 at 9:17 AM  

    I just heard about this on the news this morning. Apparently bingo halls are getting hit hard because of the predictable nature of the players. Very sad! I checked to make sure my gas flap locks when I lock my car, and thankfully it does. I'll be putting a locking gas cap on my wife's car this afternoon.

  4. Philip // May 13, 2008 at 9:31 AM  

    That would really suck, I am glad I park in a garage at home, and a patroled parking building during the day. I think my risks are quite low.

    I bet these people when they get caught would think they could have easily afforded a couple tanks of gas vs. fines and penalties they should get for stealing the gas in the first place

  5. Foxie // May 13, 2008 at 9:48 AM  

    Lucky for me, I have two things in my favor:

    First off, I live on a military base. You do something criminal, you face both military and civilian courts. If there's anything left of you after you get through the military courts, that is...

    Second, both of my cars have tiny gas tanks. Also, you can only get to the tank by opening the cover from a switch inside both cars. (Neither in places you'd expect them to be.) I know with SUV's anybody can open it, regardless of having access to the inside or not. (So I wouldn't feel safe if it were me.)

    At least the guy who stole it was polite enough to leave enough gas to let the car get started.

    Or maybe he's one of those crazy environmentalists who's anti-SUV?

  6. PT // May 13, 2008 at 11:32 AM  

    Wow. Thanks for the reminder. I park my SUV outside of the garage most nights. This will motivate me to get it inside.

  7. "Future Millionaire" // May 13, 2008 at 9:03 PM  

    wow - what is the world coming to. Its like the 1970's all over again.

  8. G.L. // May 13, 2008 at 9:45 PM  

    Am I the only one who thinks that locking gas caps for cars are very much like chastity belts? O_o

    It really is scary that people have to resort to such measures, though... I fear it may get worse in the months to come: I remember reading about a gas attendant who was run over when he tried to stop a gas-thief - it was right after the Hurricane Katrina.

    On the positive side, it might be a good idea to research and invest in the companies that make those locking caps. ;)

  9. sara l // May 14, 2008 at 7:19 PM  

    Sadly this has been going on for a while. My local news started reporting 3.5 weeks ago.

    One thing I've never understood is why manufacturers make it so easy to get into gas tanks on vans/suv's but put the release latch in smaller cars.

  10. hank // May 14, 2008 at 8:00 PM  

    Oh yea - it's getting ridiculous for sure - at least we don't live in the UK though! :) They're paying upwards of $8 a gallon over there!

  11. // May 14, 2008 at 11:45 PM  

    No way!!..that is just crazy. A friend of mine says he is sure the day will come where people will be held up @ the gas station while filling up and asked to move their cars so the thief can get the rest, no money, just gas...LOL

  12. Cincinnati Retirement Planning // May 16, 2008 at 4:42 AM  

    Your post is very alarming. People stealing gas from other cars. X-(
    That just pisses me off. Thanks for the tip though.

  13. GradGirl // May 18, 2008 at 10:52 PM  

    I actually read this out loud to my co-worker on my lunch break the other day. Siphoning gas?? Come on, people. What is with this world.

    She reminded me that most new cars are automatically locked--that is, if it's been made it the last X years, you can only open the gas tank from inside (as is true of my 2001 Jetta). Good thing.

  14. Funny about Money // May 20, 2008 at 10:00 PM  

    I didn't realize they still made cars with non-locking gas caps.

    Some years ago, the last time we had a gasoline shortage, siphoning gas was pretty common. At that time most makers started marketing cars with locking gas caps or with a lever that you have to flip inside the car to get the gas cap door open. Guess they decided to cut that little expense when gas became plentiful again....

  15. Anonymous // June 1, 2008 at 5:34 PM  
    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
  16. Anonymous // June 10, 2008 at 2:12 PM  

    This is crazy over here in Rhode Island over 4 dollars a gallon I bought the lock gas cap and came out of walmart and I was dead dry fro a half of tank now they are drilling gas tanks this is to much!!!!!!

    Mike

  17. Anonymous // August 11, 2008 at 5:49 PM  

    I found this researching for gas caps, I just got gas stolen from my bmw yesterday =(