WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

Filed Under:

Gas Thieves Using Drills To Steal Gas From Car Tanks

Play associated audio
Authorities in Maryland are investigating a string of gas thefts from cars' gas tanks, some of which happened at gas stations. 
http://www.flickr.com/photos/87913776@N00/460375914/
Authorities in Maryland are investigating a string of gas thefts from cars' gas tanks, some of which happened at gas stations. 

As the price of gas rises once again across the region, some thieves have begun to take a new and unusual approach to stealing fuel from cars.

The crimes began late in December in Takoma Park, Md. That's when a handful of car owners in and around the 7400 block of New Hampshire Ave discovered their gas tanks were near empty and leaking, police say. How the gas tanks ended up that way points to a new and disturbing trend in fuel theft. 

"Some thieves are using a drill to drill a hole into the gas tank, and in some cases they taking a hammer and a nail and puncturing the gas tank and draining the gas," AAA Mid-Atlantic's John Townsend explains.

Police say similar incidents are cropping up around Maryland, particularly in Annapolis where a taxi, under repair at a gas station, was drilled and drained last week. It was the same for a car dealership in that city where the tanks of 12 SUVs were emptied. 

Townsend says while this tends to happen when gas prices spike, thieves have upgraded their tactics.

"They used to use a siphon hose or an old rubber hose to take gas out of cars," he says. "But that's harder to do these days because some vehicles come with a block, or some are fitted with a screen which makes it virtually impossible to siphon gas out of it."

Siphoning gas is also dangerous, "because you can cause a spark, and an explosion in the hopes of getting $3.48 per gallon gas," Townsend adds.

To avoid becoming a victim of this crime, police and AAA recommend you park overnight in a garage if possible, or under a light, and report any suspicious activity.

NPR

Beyond 'Sesame Street': A New Sesame Studios Channel On YouTube

Sesame Workshop, the company behind Sesame Street, unveils a new initiative to reach kids in a digital and mobile age. NPR gets a sneak peek.
NPR

The Environmental Cost Of Growing Food

Economists are working on ways to put a price on the environmental damage of growing food. Take sugar: Half of what we eat comes from beets, half from cane. Each has an impact, in very different ways.
WAMU 88.5

The Politics Hour - May 6, 2016

Metro announces its maintenance plan--and the service disruptions it will cause. Election watchdogs question Baltimore primary results. And Republicans in our region are put on the spot about supporting GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

NPR

Beyond 'Sesame Street': A New Sesame Studios Channel On YouTube

Sesame Workshop, the company behind Sesame Street, unveils a new initiative to reach kids in a digital and mobile age. NPR gets a sneak peek.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.