Gasoline theft in Hawaii on the rise

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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