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Gas thieves target cars as gas prices soar

While gas siphoning was a common way to steal gas back in the day, it’s back and AAA says you want to be on the lookout

SAN DIEGO — Reports of gas thieves have been cropping up all across the country and as gas prices continue to soar, experts are urging folks to take caution.

"I want a Tesla, I'm trying to get an electric car after all these prices," said Blair Kolze. "It's just gonna keep going up and up," said Kolze.

With that said, after putting his hard-earned money into his car, he’s also heard about gas thieves. 

Experts report that people with trucks and cars that sit higher are especially vulnerable to gas thieves.

"Now what thieves are doing is they’re actually drilling into the gas tank and letting it flow from the gas tank. This is a costly repair that could cost a vehicle owner a thousand dollars or more to replace that gas tank," said Doug Shupe with American Automobile Association.

While gas siphoning was a common way to steal gas back in the day, it’s returned and AAA said you want to be on the lookout.  

"Some obvious signs that you’ve been a victim to this type of theft is you’ll smell gasoline as you approach your vehicle, you may see a puddle particularly right below the gas tank and then of course your vehicle may not start or that check gasoline light will come on," said Shupe.

To prevent yourself from becoming a victim, Shupe said try parking in a garage if you can, find secured lots with security cameras, and park where there is a lot of foot traffic. 

"Thieves look for the opportunity and with these higher gas prices and they’re trying to steal it whether it’s for their own vehicle or trying to sell it," said Shupe.

Another way to keep yourself safe, if you have an older car, is purchasing locking gas caps. 

WATCH RELATED: San Diegans search for the cheapest gas prices in the county (March 2022).

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