SAN DIEGO — Stealing gas is becoming more prevalent and making headlines across the country amid skyrocketing fuel prices and while siphoning was a common way to steal gas back in the day, it’s returned in the form of drilling into the gas tank.
“When I saw it, I thought, ‘Oh boy, what on earth is going on?’”
Mitch Munden had parked his Toyota 4Runner overnight on 7th Avenue in Hillcrest, and the next morning it was leaking gas all over the street. Firefighters and police responded, closing off the street while cleanup efforts were underway.
“It was everywhere and for two days, the smell was horrible,” said Munden. “It was hot at the time, I mean, it reeked of gas.”
When he parked the car, Munden’s gas tank was at about ¾ full.
“I was proud that I had almost a full tank of gas for about two weeks, and they got it all over the street,” said Munden.
His car had to be towed and the bill to replace his gas tank was a hefty one.
“The total cost of the repair was $1,345 for a new fuel tank and then all the wiring and what not that goes with it,” said Munden.
And due to supply chain issues for the needed parts, he was without his car for 10 days.
“It definitely impacted me on a business level and emotionally was tenfold along with that just because it was frustrating to be without my car,” said Munden.
After his car was repaired, the cost to fill up again was another hit to his wallet.
“That was $136.29, so it was a heck of a premium to pay on the refueling of it, not to mention the deductible,” said Munden.
When Munden filed a report with police, they told him that they found a drilled hole in his gas tank and added that gas theft crimes have been become more prevalent in all areas of the city, as gas prices have risen.
Now Munden said he is considering ways to safeguard his gas tank.
“Maybe a skid plate underneath it and just keeping an eye on it. Hopefully just more vigilance and just watching out for each other,” said Munden. “Hopefully whoever got the gas, that was worth it for them because that was the most expensive gas tank ever for me.”
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