There was a recent report out of Pasco about a woman who'd had her gas tank drilled so thieves could steal her fuel.

Woman finds gas spilling from tank

Last week, a woman working a night shift at her job in Pasco found someone had drilled a hole in her tank, stolen fuel, and the rest was leaking.

With the prices of gas skyrocketing, Law Enforcement officers across the region, state, and nation report the number of gas theft cases are climbing fast.

 Siphoning used to be the main method of theft

Using a plastic surgical tube or hose, most thieves siphon fuel from the tank. But they're stymied often by locking gas caps, gas doors, or even both. So, what are they doing now?

   More thieves are drilling holes in gas tanks-risking explosions

This is nothing new, reports began to increase late last fall of drilled tanks. The Ukiah Daily Journal newspaper in CA reported there was an explosion and fire at the Fed Ex hub in Ukiah after a thief drilled a tank, causing a spark and then boom!

  The Chronicle Newspaper in Centralia reported several weeks ago that police from Hoquiam to Everett, and places in between were seeing a huge jump in this kind of theft.

  Drilling a tank presents a new form of hazards

It's not the 'gas' fluid itself that explodes, like what you see in movies and TV. It's the fumes that ignite and blow up, the liquid fuel then keeps the fire going.  Mechanics say even a tiny spark can cause those fumes to go boom.  If the gas tank is not full or almost full, a half-empty or low tank is the most dangerous.

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Adding to the issue is that many vehicles utilize a hard plastic compound tank, which is easier to penetrate than a metal gas tank. When mechanics do need to ever drill into one, they make sure it's empty, dry, and vented to remove any fumes.


Fumes trigger the explosions --Photo by Jacob Boavista on Unsplash
Fumes trigger the explosions --Photo by Jacob Boavista on Unsplash

Until gas prices drop (if they ever do) this will only get worse, say officials.

LOOK: See how much gasoline cost the year you started driving

To find out more about how has the price of gas changed throughout the years, Stacker ran the numbers on the cost of a gallon of gasoline for each of the last 84 years. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (released in April 2020), we analyzed the average price for a gallon of unleaded regular gasoline from 1976 to 2020 along with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for unleaded regular gasoline from 1937 to 1976, including the absolute and inflation-adjusted prices for each year.

Read on to explore the cost of gas over time and rediscover just how much a gallon was when you first started driving.


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