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New car feature has led to thieves drilling vehicles for gas

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Posted at 4:15 PM, Mar 21, 2022

Over the last few weeks, we've all seen how much gas prices have gone up.

On Thursday, the national average was $4.27 per gallon, according to AAA.

That means it would take about $153 to fill the tank of a Ford F-150, about $62 to fill a Toyota Rav-4, and $52 to fill up a Honda Civic.

Those are some of the top-selling cars in the U.S., according to Edmunds.

AAA warns the theft of gas could impact the price of gas, but there’s a more direct impact happening.

Some thieves are drilling into people’s gas tanks to steal their gas.

AAA says they've never seen that before.

It has been reported in at least four states.

Bigger vehicles with larger tanks like trucks and SUVs are targeted the most.

That means someone with a Ford F-150 could be losing $153 worth of gas and have to make costly repairs on top of it.

“There's no really repairing the gas tank. It's just going to have to be replaced. (The) fuel line will have to be cleaned out, things like that it can cost upwards to $1,000,” David Bennett, Manager of Repair Systems at AAA said.

AAA says thieves have stolen gas from cars in the past, but they did it by siphoning out the fuel.

Now, newer cars have a part that prevents gas from leaking out in the case of a rollover crash.

It prevents siphoning, but it has led thieves to start drilling.

“Obviously if you can park in a garage, that's. the first thing to do. But if you can't do that, you want to park in a well-lit area. Maybe a place that has cameras around,” Bennett said.