Gas thieves target stations, individual vehicles

WASHINGTON – With gas prices climbing, thieves are finding new ways to rip off gasoline.

Police are reporting an increase in gasoline thefts.

Sometimes it happens at the gas station itself. Other times, it’s your car that is targeted.

At a Hyattsville gas station, in a coordinated ripoff, thieves pried open the pumps. Car after car then fueled up without paying. The station lost more than 900 gallons of gas.

Gas thefts can happen right on your street.

In Takoma Park, police say crooks drilled into the gas tanks of cars and trucks parked along New Hampshire Avenue and drained them in a few minutes.

Mechanics say when this occurs, it creates a potentially explosive situation. They recommend you replace the entire fuel tank, something that’s likely to set you back $500.

In Annapolis, police say gas thieves targeted a dozen small trucks at a Toyota dealership on West Street.

WJZ-TV in Baltimore reports on the problem in Annapolis:

WTOP’s Neal Augenstein contributed to this report, Follow Neal and WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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