Thieves steal gas by puncturing gas tank of Salt Lake couple

Local News

HONOLULU (KHON2) – One Salt Lake couple may have to pay thousands to fix what thieves stole. A culprit punctured a tiny hole in the tank of the couples’ Toyota Tacoma truck over the weekend.

“It’s pretty small, but it makes a lot of damage,” said Jessica Gilbert.

The truck was parked on a street in Salt Lake on Friday afternoon.

Monday morning, Gilbert’s boyfriend Zach tried to drive the car, but he could only drive a small distance before his truck was sputtering.

“He realized he had no gas in his tank. He barely made it up this hill because it was so empty,” said Gilbert.

They thought someone had simply siphoned the gas out. However, when they had tried to refill the tank, they realized the problem was much bigger.

“It started dripping from the bottom, so we had to put a bag underneath it really quickly to not drop much [gas] underneath the car.”

The couple reported the incident to police.

Mechanic Frank Young, owner of K&Y Auto, said the entire gas tank will need to be replaced and he said it won’t be cheap.

“It’s going to vary based on the truck, and it’ll vary on the size of the tank. It’ll go upward of $2,000 if it’s a truck with a 30-40 gallon tank,” said Young.

Young said higher vehicles like trucks and some SUV’s are easier to get under, which is why some thieves target them.

He said thieves usually steal from a certain type of car.

“A lot of these people, if they’re stealing gas all of the time, they’re usually targeting certain cars because they practice. They learn how to do it on that particular car. They know how to punch a hole,” said Young.

However he said, when they do, they may be putting their lives at risk.

“If they’re drilling holes in the tank, the spark catches that drill and you’ll have some sparks, that’s why and that car’s going to burn,” said Young. “Because you have liquid gas and vapor hitting it, an electric drill, it’ll go up in flames in seconds.”

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