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OPP Report An Increase In Fuel Thefts This Winter

Web posted on April 09, 2014

(COUNTY OF WELLINGTON, ON) - Provincially policing agencies everywhere have noted an increase in gas thefts. The same spike in thefts was evident the last time fuel prices escalated and as the price of fuel climbs so will the likelihood of more gasoline thefts.

Most of the thefts investigated within the County of Wellington OPP thus far have been "drive offs" at local gas stations where self-serve customers fill their tanks and drive off without paying. In some cases, the theft may leave the young station employee on the hook for the cash register shortfall.

The high prices create the desire for free fuel, whether that be a drive off or using a siphon hose to pilfer it from a private tank. The opportunity to commit the crime is all that's needed and this is the one area you control. There are a number of ways you can remove the "opportunity" and reduce the chances of becoming a victim.

Here are a few tips that may prevent you from becoming a victim: * Consider installing a locking gas cap. Remember that many of the "fuel doors" that open remotely or with a key are flimsy and easily compromised.

* Avoid parking in dark, isolated areas (especially for extended periods).

* At home park in a locked garage where possible. If you don't have a garage park as close as possible to the house and avoid parking on the street.

* If you must park on a street or in a parking lot attempt to locate your vehicle so the fuel door is visible to you or other residents in your area.

* If you have bulk fuel stored on your property ensure you lock the tank and or dispenser to prevent access.

* Don't hesitate to call police if you witness suspicious activity in an area where fuel is stored or around parked vehicles. Be a good witness. Record the license plate number and/or vehicle and suspect descriptions.

It may cost over a hundred dollars to fill your vehicle today, so take some precautions against fuel thefts.


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