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With the cost of gasoline skyrocketing, thieves in Hawaii -- where the average price easily exceeds $4 per gallon -- have taken extraordinary measures to steal fuel. Only mildly deterred by locking gas caps, bandits have been cutting fuel lines to circumvent the common preventatives. With nothing more than a straight edge blade, a piece of garden hose, and a bucket, the lawless make easy work of the plastic fuel lines under cars as they cut them to gain simple access to the tank and its flammable yet valuable liquid contents.

So far, most of the victims have been businesses or commercial ventures with several large trucks in their fleet. Parked unattended in lots overnight, their 20-30 gallon fuel tanks and raised ride height make them easy targets with larger yields than the average passenger vehicle. To deter the theft, business owners have installed sophisticated video surveillance cameras on their property and outfitted some vehicles with steel gas lines. "If they're crazy enough to go cut a steel line to steal the gas, they should be welcome to it," says George Nitta, owner of Nitta Auto Repair. "All they need is one spark from that saw and that's it, you're done." Thanks for the tip, catgirlshyla!

[Source: Honolulu Advertiser, photo by Justin Sullivan, Getty Images]



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  • 20 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      just wait till it hits $8-10 in the US.
      they will just use guns then.

        • 6 Years Ago
        I'd switch to something small and carbureted and run leaded gas. Just laugh and watch how fast their O2 sensor dies...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Actually, fuel injection is fine with leaded gas. Not sure about the high pressure direct injection, but it might be fine too. Your catalytic converter will choke up on it pretty efficiently though.
      • 6 Years Ago
      George Nitta must have not heard of tubing cutters. They're designed to cut through stainless steel, and such, without sparks.

      http://www.ratch-cut.net/products_RC.html
      • 6 Years Ago
      Better call 5-0.
      • 6 Years Ago
      The Mythbusters proved conclusively that liquid gasoline doesn't burn; it has to be vaporized first. So taking a hacksaw to a fuel line is not at all dangerous.

      Chalk up another advantage to electric cars.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Wasn't there a similar story on autoblog about people stealing gas by puncturing the gas tanks. Maybe I'm just having deja vu.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I say take one of those horizontal drilling machines you see utility companies use by the road side, and drill into gas station tanks. Pump/steal the gas oh-so-slowly as you need it. They'll think it's leaking anyways.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Well, gas theft is one thing, but these idiots are climbing light poles and bridges to get copper wiring to sell to scrapyards. Man, I've grown up here in Hawaii, but the people do some crazy stuff for a buck. Sad.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Uh... what am I missing here? My gas (91) has been well over $4.00 a gallon for months now (paid $4.45 just the other day) and this isnt a pandemic here. maybe it's just the media and a slow news day.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Hawaiians also have a very high cost of living because nearly everything must be shipped there. It's like living in San Fransisco and everything you buy has to be shipped from Georgia.

        But, on the plus side there are women in bikinis, so you've gotta weigh your options I guess.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You think thats bad, Lanai has $5 a gallon gas. Probably the first place in the USA to reach that level.

        http://mauinews.com/page/content.detail/id/504167.html?nav=10

        • 6 Years Ago
        The Hawaiians have a very high standard of living, most families have 3 incomes. Also, public transport is virtually nonexistent on many of the islands. Thats why high gas is such an issue for them.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I still don't remember at what point I'm supposed to care. If I'm not paying $4.799/gallon for premium, I'm paying $5.499/gallon for diesel in my daily driver. My fuel lines run between the frame rails and the sealed underbody paneling on the diesel. If they bring a torx wrench and a torch they might be able to get to the diesel lines. The lines on the C63, I have no idea where they are.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Man, there's gotta be a better way to earn a living as a thief than stealing gas. At $4 per gallon, stealing 15 gallons would weigh around 100 pounds and only be worth $60, not to mention you have to handle a volatile chemical in the process. Come on guys, work smart, not hard.
        • 6 Years Ago
        yeah, cut the cat outta there while you're at it.
      • 6 Years Ago
      "If they're crazy enough to go cut a steel line to steal the gas, they should be welcome to it," says George Nitta, owner of Nitta Auto Repair. "All they need is one spark from that saw and that's it, you're done."

      Hacksaws don't usually make sparks, or just use a set of wrenches.
        • 6 Years Ago
        I certainly do not condone theft of any kind, but non-sparking tools aren't hard to find.

        http://www.ampcosafetytools.com/faq.htm
        • 6 Years Ago
        I'm sure a set of bolt cutters would make short work of the line. Yeah, it might crimp it shut, but I bet if you take a screwdriver, jam it in the crimped end and pry, you'll get it open real quick.
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