Easy St.: Thieves Having a Gas

As prices rise, anyone can steal fuel
By Matt Cantor,  Newser User
Posted Jul 6, 2008 9:28 AM CDT
All gas thieves need is a hose and a container.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – Stealing gas by siphoning it from vehicles is a simple crime that can reap big rewards—and as fuel prices soar, the crime is ever-more tempting for thieves, the Washington Post reports. A Maryland county reported zero or one thefts yearly from 2005 to 2007, but cops have already logged seven this year. Meanwhile, sales of locking gas caps have skyrocketed.

One man woke to find his garden hose cut and his car’s low-fuel light ablaze. "I went that night and bought a locking gas cap," he said. But thefts are happening on a bigger scale, too—Virginia police recently charged a 23-year-old with grand larceny for stealing some $50,000 worth of gas from a station after hours and selling it to friends.