The skyrocketing price of gas has thieves targeting the liquid gold in truck tanks.
In the past two weeks, Kamloops Mounties have been investigating at least four incidents in which thieves have drilled holes in gas tanks of trucks to empty them of the petrol.
On Feb. 27 and Feb. 28, vehicles parked in the 1200-block of Rogers Way and the 1300-block of Hugh Allan Drive — areas in Aberdeen filled with hotels — were targeted. On March 7 and March 8, gas tanks in trucks parked in the 1400-block of Pearson Place in Aberdeen and in the 2000-block of West Trans-Canada Highway in versatile were also drilled and drained.
The recent rash of drilling and draining is not a new illicit practice as there have been similar reports in the past — including a series of such crimes in Kamloops and the Okanagan in 2019.
“Whoever is responsible for these thefts is not just stealing gas, but creating a whole string of expenses far greater than the price of the fuel they’re making off with,” Const. Crystal Evelyn said in a statement. “It’s really important for people to be good neighbours and watch for any suspicious activity in their communities. If you see something suspicious, please call police (at 250-828-3000), but also try to capture as much information about the suspects as possible, such as their licence plate or description.”
Although a locked gas cap won’t prevent someone from drilling into a gas tank, Evelyn said it could help keep fuel safe in vehicles that sit closer to the ground and are harder to get under.
“Parking in a secured, well-lit area, such as a garage or fenced enclosure can also be helpful for theft prevention,” said Cpl. Dana Napier of the Kamloops RCMP’s community policing unit. “If you must park on the street, avoid dark and isolated areas. The more visible your vehicle, the better.”
In addition, police are asking people to be mindful of the smell and presence of gasoline when returning to their vehicle after a period of time, in case the tank has been compromised.
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