Dear PoP – Gas siphoning

Photo by PoPville flickr user christopher.poole

“Dear PoP,

I was wondering if you have heard any reports of gas being stolen from cars. I live at the 900 block of Spring Rd., NW and I was out of town last week. I came back to find that my 3/4 full gas tank was 100% EMPTY. My gas tank can be accessed easily, since there is a tab on the panel to opening, and it does not require flipping a level on this inside of my car to open it. The car was parked behind the house where it is generally dark and quite at night, and there is a good covering of vines and such on the fence that would make it easy for someone stooped by my car to go unnoticed.

I have heard of this in other cities, but not yet in DC. There is no other explanation for my empty tank.

Wondering if I have to find a way to lock my gas cap!?”

Yikes, this is the first I’m hearing of an incident like this. Has anyone else heard of or had gas stolen from them? Is it easy to add a locking gas cap?

11 Comment

  • You must have an older car then. New cars are designed to prevent this.

    I believe you can buy a locking cap at any auto parts store.

    • Actually, not all, though I would have thought so, too. But on my 2010 Honda Element the gas tank lid is not secured, and it opens to an unlocked gas cap.

  • That happened to me!! About a month and a half ago. I thought I was crazy. I’m at Grant Circle. I’ve been trying to buy a locking gas cap on ebay since then, with no luck.

  • My car is a 2006 – hardly old – and I was displeased to find that the panel and the cap both open by hand – no security. I bought a locking gas cap at a regular auto store for an older truck I had. I wasn’t concerned so much about theft, but when I saw a man shove clods of dirt into a car’s gas tank (out of spite to a neighbor’s parking habits?)I wanted to avoid any vandalism.

  • Sounds like a cheap car ^^^^

  • My Prius’ gas tank door has scratches and dents on it from someone trying to pry it open back in ’07. I just assumed the thieves saw my Prius and automatically thought – Prius = lotsa gas. But then a couple weeks later they tried to pry open the drivers side door. They failed both times.

  • This happened to me about 3 years ago. I just parked tank opening to the wall. Problem solved.

  • Yup this has happened to me on 11th street. And someone tore my gas cap off to boot!

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