How About Some Gasoline Insurance?

by Ron Haynes

Gas insurance? Sounds crazy doesn’t it? When certain things get very expensive, those items can become hot commodities for thieves and those willing to buy stolen merchandise. Now, believe it or not…I’m not kidding…gas thieves have grown more and more brazen, stealing fuel at gunpoint from fuel delivery truck drivers, from the tanks of truck drivers (who carry hundreds of gallons), and even from individuals like you and me! Gas thieves are even resorting to drilling holes in fuel tanks (many gas tanks are plastic) and then catch the fuel in a container of some sort.

There are also many, many reports of fuel being siphoned from unlocked gas tanks, though some gas tanks are difficult to siphon because of “check balls,” which prevent fuel spillage in the event of a roll over. The high ground clearance of sport utility vehicles and pickup trucks make them particularly vulnerable to gas tank puncturing, but siphoning still seems to be the preferred method.

Something else to be wary of, gas thieves are stealing license plates so they can fill up their own vehicles, then drive off. When the gas station attendant reports the license plate number, it could be yours! Pay attention to your license plate. It it’s missing, report it to the police immediately. You might consider using a product such as Loctite to secure the plate to your vehicle. You’ll have a very difficult time removing the screws in the future, but so will the gas thieves.

How to prevent gas thieves

Park in a well lit area.
Park in an area with lots of foot traffic.
If you live in an apartment complex, ask management if there are regular patrols. If not, carefully select where you decide to park your vehicle. A locked garage is ideal.
Consider purchasing a car alarm.
If possible, get a motion sensing floodlight for your driveway.
Get a locking gas cap. For the price of 4 to 5 gallons, you can prevent the theft of $80 worth of gas. This is one insurance policy that only has a single payment!

[tags]fuel, gas, license, tanks, thieves, plate, prevent[/tags]

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1000 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.

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Frugal Dad

Waiting to hear about a couple theives getting blown up when their drill causes a spark and the tank ignites. I’d also be interested to see how many of these thieves are smokers – they’ll sneak around puncturing tanks and siphoning out a few dollars worth of gas, and then drive to a convenience store and pay $4 for a pack of cigs. Makes no sense.


#Frugal Dad→

Oh, you’ll hear it! BOOM!
Right after that the media will blame the guy’s death on evil oil company
executives for “forcing” him to use such drastic measures to fuel his

The biggest problem is that those plastic tanks are not cheap. My wife needed a new one after the overflow valve got stuck and it was going to cost over $900. We were planning on buying a new car anyway so we went ahead with the purchase.

Ari Herzog

Gas thieves? Must be a west coast thing.

But, hey, as the old saying goes, if a so-called thief really wants something he’ll do anything to get it.


#Ari Herzog→

Actually, it may become more widespread! I knew someone who had her tank
emptied by siphoning … in the South!


As stated other places drilling is really not as dangerous at it seems. Even with a metal tank, if there is decent volume the gasoline will not explode because of a couple sparks. Gasoline burns in an engine with very controlled amound of fuel and oxygen.

They could tap on a tank and tell how much it has in it before they start drilling, problem solved.

This could be a huge problem that does not have much for an easy solution, glad I park in a garage at home, and parking building at work.


One small problem with that locking gas cap advice:

Someone stole several gallons of gas from my car via siphoning a couple months ago, so I bought a locking gas cap to prevent the problem from happening again. (Incidentally, no one believed me until an article came out in our local paper here in rural Kansas about some kid who got arrested for siphoning gas.) Anyway, I just filled my tank up again today. Since I commute, I’m compulsive about my gas mileage. I noticed this tank wasn’t doing so well, and when I got to the station to refuel, I found out why. Someone’s popped the lock out of my locking gas cap. Btw, I have a car alarm. Apparently, the fuel door is not a covered area.

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