RENO, NV — The Reno Police Department has seen a marked increase in the theft of gasoline from parked vehicles, with 15 reported crimes over the past ten weeks.
Thieves have targeted vehicles parked in business parking lots, as well as vehicles in private residential parking lots and a small number of vehicles parked on city streets.
The thefts are occurring during the hours of darkness.
Many of the gasoline thefts are due to the use of siphons, but police say a troubling situation occurs when gas lines are cut or the gas tank itself is punctured or drilled. Besides the added cost of vehicle repair, the cutting of gas lines or the puncturing of the gas tank may create an environmental hazard as well as a safety hazard due to spilled gasoline.
If someone discovers they have been a victim of a theft of gasoline, they should immediately check underneath their vehicle before trying to start or move the vehicle.
Prevention strategies include parking in secure and/or well-lit areas when possible, or the use of motion lights where practical. One of the best ways to combat crime, including gasoline thefts, is vigilance and awareness. If someone sees something or someone suspicious then they should contact local law enforcement and report the circumstances.
Anyone with information is asked to call Secret Witness at 322-4900 or the Reno Police Department.