One of the more unsavory aspects of the inexorable rise in gas prices has been a marked increase in criminal gas siphoning activities. This has been widely reported in the media, but over the weekend it struck very close to home when a neighbors car, which is normally parked only a few feet from mine, was the victim of a gas siphoning attack. He had just filled gas in his SUV the night before and the next morning as he was leaving for work he unexpectedly found his car’s low fuel warning light on. Sure enough when he looked, the gas tank cover was on the curb near his car and fuel stains nearby. He had been fuel jacked!
While the financial damage to my neighbor was only the $70 worth of stolen gas, the mental scars and the fear of a repeat theft weighed heavily on him. When he told me and other folks in our apartment complex about this, we were all naturally worried about being the next victim as we park in a shared parking lot. In fact the only reason he was targeted first was probably that he drove an SUV and hence had the largest gas tank.
Following the incident, my neighbor had done some research on how to reduce the odds of a gas siphoning theft and found that the most cost effective way was to use a lockable (locking) gas cap. This is a simple lock equipped device that fits onto or replaces your existing gas (fuel) tank cap. They range in price from $10 to $20, depending on your car make and model. You can get them at most car or auto parts shop. Or like I did, just go online and look for the best deal from Bizrate or Amazon. If you have a car that does not have an automatic locking fuel compartment, like a number of American models, then this safety device is a must.
With gas prices set to rise further this summer, siphoning thefts are going to become more common. Apart from staying vigilant and parking securely, safety devices like gas or fuel locking caps are a small investment worth making.