Theft cases in Humboldt County involving gas siphoning

HUMBOLDT COUNTY, Calif.(KIEM)- California drivers continue to feel pain at the pump as the state’s average gas price reached a new all-time high of $5.77 a gallon today.

We’ve been reporting about gas thefts occurring across the state, and now they’re happening here along the North Coast.

There have been at least three theft cases in Humboldt County involving gas siphoning within the past week.

One victim tells us he left his vehicle parked for a few days at the Humboldt County airport and returned to an empty gas tank, and if you think you are a victim of fuel theft, AAA of Northern California says here are some signs to look out for.

“First off, you know, if you get close to your vehicle art smelling gasoline, that could be a sign that you’ve been targeted. Seeing a puddle underneath your vehicle with the gas tank is another sign that you might have been targeted if you notice that the fuel gauge is lower than before you got into your vehicle,” said Aldo Vazquez, AAA spokesperson.

Humboldt County had a few cases reported within the last week, with one of the thefts at the Humboldt County Airport. 

“I was coming back from a trip. I was in the long-term parking for four days, and when I came back, my gas flap was open. I started the car, and I had a full tank of gas that I had filled up a day before. And it was all gone,” said the gas theft victim.

While there is no car fully equipped to be completely theft-proof, you can take several simple steps to protect your vehicle from fuel thieves.

“If you have a garage, park your car inside the garage. The safest way to protect your vehicle is if you are going to be parked anywhere outside in public is to try and find a spot that is well lit. If you can find a spot where the fuel tank is facing the street, or there is a lot of foot traffic, that’s also a great way of giving you an added layer of safety because obviously, a thief is not going to target a vehicle that is an in-plane site trying to commit the crime,” said Aldo Vazquez.

Those who fall victim could face a repair bill of more than 1,000 dollars to replace a damaged gas tank and also can create a potential fire safety hazard.

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