• Mar 27, 2011
Fuel theft is becoming a multi-million dollar business in the UK, according to BBC News. With gasoline and diesel prices topping £6 per imperial gallon ($8.03 per U.S. gallon at the current exchange rate) parked vehicles have been targeted by thieves who siphon the fuel and sell it for profit. Many drivers do not report the thefts because they believe that local police downplay the seriousness of the crime. Authorities, however, deny this claim.
Dennis Davenport, manager of the trucking firm HMT, told the BBC News that:
These days, with a vehicle with 1000 liters (264.2 gallons) of fuel you're talking about a pump value of £1,350 ($2,171 U.S.). It's instantly usable and disposable. The fuel you carry is now more valuable than the cargo.
Would a locking gas cap put an end to fuel thefts? Not much. During a recent fuel theft, five criminals broke open the lock on the tank, used a battery-powered siphon to transfer the fuel into drums and carted it all away.

Chrys Rampley, security manager for the Road Haulage Association (RHA), claims that determined thieves will stop at nothing to get the fuel, stating:
There are thieves out there who are determined, sitting and waiting outside secure [truck] depots for the right moment to siphon the fuel. A whole fleet of 10-15 vehicles can have their tanks emptied in one night.
That's like $20,000 worth of fuel vanishing before breakfast. Not a good way to start your day.

[Source: BBC News]


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 27 Comments
      electronx16
      • 3 Years Ago
      Another good reason to go electric: nobody will steel the fuel. The battery on the other hand is a different matter entirely...
        • 3 Years Ago
        @electronx16
        Oh, people try to steal electricity. A lot of them don't try twice, though.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @electronx16
        Short of taking a forklift on a the job, an electric car battery (as fitted in a Telsa, Leaf or i-Miev) should be pretty theft proof without nicking the entire car. They weigh more than 200 kg.
        electronx16
        • 3 Years Ago
        @electronx16
        Alex: Clearly nicking the battery isn't like boosting the stereo, but high value of the battery suggests it's not wise to leave your EV parked in some back alley.
        Jake: cars have identifiers too yet grand theft auto isn't exactly unheard off...Also the battery pack of the Leaf disassembles neatly into 48 high value hard to trace packages. Sounds like good business to me...
        • 3 Years Ago
        @electronx16
        Like Alex says, probably much easier to steal the whole car. Plus so far there isn't really a battery aftermarket yet, so it's not easily sold. Also, the battery will likely have unique identifiers (plus almost all EVs have some kind of GPS nowadays) so after it is stolen, it's probably easy to mark as stolen.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Please note the $9.65 per gallon, is per imperial gallon, so only $8 per US gallon!
      harlanx6
      • 3 Years Ago
      To stop crime, you have to be willing to punish the perpetrators (even if they are your relatives) (and I don't admonishing them not to do it again or you are really going to punish them.) The Chinese know how to do it. You are not so willing, so get used to it and shut the hell up.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        Well yeah, I can see that why you really need to own a gun!

        For your information, like Iran, the PRC (I presume you are referring to the PRC) actually has a very severe drug problem. In fact most countries with really savage law enforcement drug policies, curiously, have out of control drug problems.

        Countries with non-criminally based harm minimisation approaches have very few drug addicts and very little drug related crime.

        Now you'd think that if any nation on earth should have learnt that Prohibition doesn't work, it would be the USA, but no! It's voters like you who seek retribution, not rehabilitation, who degrade civilisation.

        All those gun tottin' vigilantes raised in the bible belt and Readers Digest authoritarians have created such a huge anti-drug industry that it's destroying the fabric of America.

        You talk about big government, and how bad Obama's health care is destroying American freedoms, yet you have already handed over all those constitutional rights you boast about, to the DEA, and a frightening myriad of law enforcement entities, in pursuit of an vicious, unachievable result, the downside of which is destroying US society.

        What really pisses me, is that people like you, sooner or later start quoting the old testament as justification for ignoring the teaching of the man you claim to follow.

        Oh, and even more curiously, the old testament types usually despise Jews!
        harlanx6
        • 3 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        The Chinese had a much worse drug problem than the US does, and they have pretty much stopped it cold. From what I heard, they would bring the perpetrators up on charges down at the peoples hall, then take them out to the city dump and shoot them. They were willing to punish the perpetrators sufficiently to stop the crime. We aren't, therefore we aren't safe on our streets or in our homes. Law enforcement shows up in time to string the yellow tape around the victims. We have to provide our own security. Law enforcement can't be everywhere, and when they catch a criminal, they are soon back out on the street, after getting a master's degree in crime at the so called "correctional institution". That is why we will never give up our guns.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        Sure they Know how to do it, that's why there are I.% billion of 'em!

        Oh, sorry, I see what you mean.....you mean we should send people to brutal labour 're-education' camps, or shoot them in arena's for public entertainment?

        Hmmm...would the severity of the punishment depend on the octane level of the gas?
        harlanx6
        • 3 Years Ago
        @harlanx6
        We are getting a little off subject here (understatement), but we in the US incarcerate a greater percentage of our citizens than other countries, and still we struggle with drug based crime. Our insistence on criminalizing narcotics is concentrating huge wealth and political power into the hands of organized crime. I see no other solution but for each to provide their own security. Obviously depending on the state to provide security here is futile. What we are doing isn't deterring crime. Our inner city poor don't achieve adulthood with the necessary tools to be successful in this society and see pervasive corporate corruption to the very top of industry and government. Their role models are the drug dealers and pimps, who have exotic women and imported luxury cars. Candidates for elected office promise the poor wealth transfer they have no intention of delivering. The number one cause of death to males in the inner cities is murder. It's a mess. We extend great effort to protect the rights of criminals, while the victims just suffer. Anyone can identify our problems. We need statesmen to step up with solutions. The status quo isn't sustainable.
      • 3 Years Ago
      Ahh.. This is like a sneak preview of peak oil
        • 1 Day Ago
        Peak human race? that one is not fun.

        • 1 Day Ago
        Good one 2WM! Peak electricity. picture it.
        Peak human race would be a good one too.
        • 1 Day Ago
        Many years ago during a industrial dispute of Gas tanker drivers and oil refinery workers when the union refused to supply even hospitals and emergency services, some enterprising young army officer cadets, syphoned the cars belonging to the union leadership and officials attending a strike planning strategy meeting. The enterprising young raiders were delighted to discover the drums of secret (and illegal) gasoline stashed away on the union premises for the supply of union officials, and spirited the lot away for the local emergency services.

        The howls of indignation from the hapless union officials demanding prosecution for the theft, were stilled when they realised that to lay such charges would expose their own behaviour.

        • 1 Day Ago
        This *is* the start of peak oil.
      • 3 Years Ago
      I like how you said "sell it for a profit". How shocking that they sell the fuel for greater than their costs to steal it! Those are some pretty high up front costs to do business, ya know...getting 4 other people for one night and the cost of driving them to the "jobsite" I figured they would be selling the fuel at a loss! I mean, they'd need to sell it for about $0.13 per gallon to break even....
      • 3 Years Ago
      electonx said:

      "Another good reason to go electric: nobody will steel the fuel. "

      They haven't started yet but I can see the day when we will have all of our exterior outlets under lock and key.
        • 1 Day Ago
        And if you can only steal at a rate of a couple $ per hour, then I don't think I'd really be that worried about it.
        • 3 Years Ago
        Um, wouldn't it be easier to have a mains switch inside the house?
        Nothing much to steal if switched off :-)
      • 3 Years Ago
      $20,000 of fuel?!?! No, you are off by an order of magnitude.

      If you go with $9/gallon and emptying 15 cars that happen to have full tanks of 15 gallons each that would only be $2,025
        • 3 Years Ago
        Way to check the numbers Spec. Somebody has to do it.
        • 3 Years Ago
        They're emptying fuel from trucks, not cars. Much more to be gained stealing out of a much larger fuel tank.
      • 3 Years Ago
      "That's like $20,000 worth of fuel"

      I'm sure you mean:
      That's, like, $20,000 worth of fuel.

      Come on, you're an educated teenager, aren't you?
      • 3 Years Ago
      John quote: "They're emptying fuel from trucks, not cars. Much more to be gained stealing out of a much larger fuel tank."

      It's not all that easy to syphon out of a car's gas tank anymore. They have a screen in there that keeps one from getting a hose in. I know this cuz last power outage I needed fuel for my gen set but could not get to it.

      Anyone been successful borrowing fuel from their vehicles for emergency??
        • 1 Day Ago
        Yep, thieves just punch or drill a hole in your car's fuel tank.

        Which with labor means you will be paying $1,000+ to have it replaced.

        $5/gallon gasoline in the U.S. will bring a new line of business to the auto dealer - welding skid plates around your fuel tank.
        • 1 Day Ago
        Have you tried a drill?

        http://www.wbtv.com/Global/story.asp?S=14163056

        Oh! You meant your car, not your neighbour's.
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