Modern gas thieves using destructive siphoning technique

Published: Dec. 20, 2017 at 5:41 PM PST
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Sharman Lorimer's friend loaned her a Honda CRV a couple days ago. She says she and her husband went out Saturday morning and noticed the fuel tank was nearly empty. That seemed odd, since they didn't drive it that much. But when her husband went down the street to fill the tank, he noticed something was wrong.

“The gas started pouring out of the vehicle,” says Lorimer

Take a look at the undercarriage of the car, and you can see the hole thieves put into the gas tank to siphon gas. You can see where the gas ran onto the asphalt where the car was previously parked.

“A neighbor came home late at night and saw a container underneath. Of course, she assumed that the car was being repaired somewhat and went inside. Never saw anybody,” says Lorimer.

Modern gas thieves are using this method to steal gas. But the repairs can go into the hundreds of dollars--well beyond what it would cost to fill a tank.

Reno Police say they aren’t seeing an increase in this kind of crime, and they can't really offer any ways to deter it, except perhaps parking in a well-lit area.

A sign indicating the area is monitored by surveillance cameras is just outside Lorimer's apartment, but that didn't seem to keep the thieves at bay.

There are no devices to stop this kind of siphoning, and some suspect locked gas caps are forcing thieves to take drastic steps.

We don't know why this car was targeted out of all the cars in the parking lot. It could be because the gas tank is located near a tire and the culprits cold hide behind it. Or they could have hid behind an area dumpster until the coast was clear.

Either way it suggests if you see people underneath the car, even looking at the gas tank, even in a public parking lot, you may want to ask some questions.