Monday, 9 June 2008

Gasoline thieves adopt a new drill

Heidi Perkins filled up her truck with gas for $90, then a thief used a drill to drive off with everything in her tank.

Heidi Perkins spent $90 filling up her 2002 Dodge pickup the Friday before Mother's Day and used a quarter of the tank over the weekend. So she was mystified Monday morning when the gas gauge was below "E" as she drove her daughter to school.

She pulled into the closest gas station and began to refill.

"The gas was pouring out of the gas tank almost as fast as it was going in," said Perkins, who lives in Waxahachie. "There was a hole in it. And I started to wonder if my gas was stolen."

She was right: Someone drilled a hole in the truck's plastic gas tank and drained it.

With gas prices at record highs and service stations thwarting drive-offs with pay-before-you-pump policies, gas thieves are becoming more creative.

Police and Tarrant County auto-shop owners have reported gas tanks being punctured or fuel lines being cut on parked cars, trucks and SUVs. While most mechanics say they've seen only a couple of victims each, they fear the crime will grow with gas prices.

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