HONOLULU (KHON2) — Gas prices remain high. Police departments said they are already getting reports of thieves tampering with other people’s gas tanks.
The high cost of gas is putting pressure on people’s wallets, and crimes related to gas theft are being reported in Hawaii and Maui Counties.
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The Hawaii Police Department said four incidents of gas theft and tampering have been reported in recent weeks.
A spokesperson said a car’s fuel line was cut, and the fuel line of a moped was found on the floor in Puna. Gas caps were unscrewed in Kona, and a siphining hose was found in a tank in Kamuela.
Meanwhile, the Maui Police Department said it has received 16 calls for service to date related to gas theft. Fourteen of those cases were either, siphoned, gas line cut or drilled tanks. The other two cases were of gas cans being stolen from people’s properties.
The Triple-A Hawaii Doug Shupe said drivers can reduce the opportunity for criminals to take action by following simple steps.
“Thieves are looking for crimes of opportunity,” Shupe said. “We’re hearing about reports of gas deaths all across the country. If you’re parking in public look for a fenced-in area with surveillance cameras. If you’re parking in a parking garage or parking structure, try to park your vehicle in an area close to an elevator or a staircase or even the entrance to that parking garage where there could be more foot traffic.”
Experts said car lots and large trucks are targets for gas theft. At D. Otani Produce, there is heightened awareness. They said they have increased security.
“Some of them have even put security cameras just on their gas tanks just to keep the theft away,” D.Otani Produce Buyer and Operations Manager Kimo Muraki said. “Our security has beefed up a little bit. Property management has a little bit more visitations by the security team.”
The cost of transportation and produce have also gone up. Muraki said they hope to go back to lower prices soon, but it all depends on the volatile cost of crude oil.
But at least gas prices have remained the same in Hawaii for the last two days.
Shupe said, “The prices are stabilizing, at least for now. The average in the state of Hawaii is now $5.09 That’s basically the same as what it was yesterday.”
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The highest recorded average price for gas in Hawaii was March 17, 2022, at $5.12 per gallon.