As Fuel Prices Spike in US, Gas Theft is Also on the Rise, Police Warn

© REUTERS / BING GUANA customer refuels their vehicle at a Mobil gas station in Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood, California, U.S., March 10, 2022
A customer refuels their vehicle at a Mobil gas station in Beverly Boulevard in West Hollywood, California, U.S., March 10, 2022 - Sputnik International, 1920, 12.03.2022
Already high gas prices increased even more after the Biden administration decided to impose a ban on all Russian energy products, including oil and gas.
Police departments across the United States are warning Americans that cases of gas theft have increased at pumps nationwide, urging the public to be on the lookout and recommending precautionary steps against the gas thieves.
The Everett Police Department in the state of Washington said that such thieves are using power tools to drill a hole in the gas tank and steal fuel.

"We often discover these thefts later when the owner goes to the gas station to fill up and finds all the fuel dumping out under the vehicle from the cut filler line", Hoquiam Chief of Police Jeff Myers wrote on Facebook.

The ways to protect oneself from a gas theft suggested by the police include buying a locking gas cap or parking in a well-lit area or in a garage, where the vehicle is less likely to become a target for a thief.
The Renton Police Department suggested refraining from parking in public areas for "extended periods of time", or at least positioning vehicles in such a way that would leave the fuel tank visible from the main road.
Precautionary steps against gas theft are being taken by businesses as well. According to CNN, one gas station in Michigan now requires customers to pre-pay for gasoline or pay with a credit card at the pump.
Among the reported cases of gas theft are incidents in Atlanta, Georgia, where the police detained a man "who was not only entering autos and stealing items from cars, but also damaging cars by puncturing gas tanks and stealing gasoline". Similar cases have been reported in Southern California, particularly in Sacramento. California is currently among the states with the highest gas prices in the country: according to AAA, a gallon of gasoline costs $5.69 in the Golden State.
Gas prices have skyrocketed in the United States since the Biden administration's ban on the import of Russian oil and gas, as Washington, along with other nations, condemns the military operation that Moscow launched in Ukraine in late February.
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