In tough economic times, many individuals and businesses are struggling with the ever-increasing cost of fuel. For many, this means cutting back on other expenses or simply using less fuel. For others, it means more drastic measures. Incidents of fuel theft have been increasing along with the price of fuel, with individuals stealing fuel right out of the tanks of unattended vehicles. The thefts have hit consumers and business fleets alike, making security yet another concern for vehicle owners.
According to a recent ABC report, tank and line punctures are on the rise, with thieves taking any means necessary to get at their victims’ fuel. Cars, trucks, and even buses have had fuel drained by thieves breaking and drilling through gas caps and lines. Fleets are especially vulnerable when large numbers of vehicles are clustered in a single location. And the problem isn’t just with profit losses, according to Denver Police Detective John White.
"What made this particular method so dangerous and concerning for us was the way in which they were doing it — using cordless drills to puncture holes in these tanks," he said of the rash of cases his department has investigated this spring. "The heat, friction generated could have easily sparked a fire.”
Make sure that your fleet is protected from gas theft by taking appropriate measures. Store your vehicles in a secure location such as a locked parking lot or a parking deck with video surveillance, and make sure that your vehicles’ fuel doors are secured with a device such as an external lock or locking gas cap. And, as always, prevent fuel theft WITHIN your company with the protection of a fleet card.
Photo courtesy of bradleyolin and re-used under the Creative Commons license.