As Gas Prices Climb, So Do Gas Thefts

Tricky maneuvers help slake thirst for fuel
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jun 14, 2008 11:50 AM CDT
A man pumps gas at a Lukoil station in Albany, N.Y., Friday, June 13, 2008.    (AP Photo/Mike Groll)
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(Newser) – With gas prices soaring above $4 a gallon, gas thefts are up across the country, and thieves are devising ever-more-creative means of snatching the stuff, Newsweek reports. Some manage to keep the gas flowing after paying for only a few gallons; others siphon fuel from unsuspecting drivers’ SUVs. Some even use life-threatening maneuvers to gather hundreds of gallons.

One method involves parking a truck over a gas station’s underground tank, pulling off the lid and inserting a pump; one spark could mean death. “If you don't have the right vapor recovery system, you die," says the president of a convenience store association. In the past, the leading way to steal gas was to drive off without paying, but 99% of stations now force drivers to pay first.