LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — As gas prices continue to rise, some area leaders are saying gas theft is something to watch out for.
One gas customer in Lexington, Matt Brunty, says, "The vehicle we drive for work gets about 10 miles a gallon, so when you pay a dollar extra a gallon, that really adds up quick."
Another customer, Joe Kaelin, says, "Hopefully, we'll all come out of this glitch soon."
A Lexington gas station's managers say payment precautions help prevent theft at the pumps.
"We really just try to be careful, and always run their card inside or have them pay at the pump,” says Shell Manager, Angela Seebold.
Leaders say as gas prices continue to rise so does the likelihood of gas theft.
"There's not a lot we can do about the gas prices, but there may be something's that we can do to limit the exposure that we have to gas theft."
Brian Nigoff is the owner of Brian’s Bluegrass Automotive. He says the most obvious sign of theft is a drastic change in the gas gauge. Less obvious signs would be a car not running well, losing power, or not turning on at all. Nigoff says there are several ways to siphon gas.
"So it used to be a piece of garden hose and you suck on the end of the garden hose and out comes the gasoline -- but now they have pumps where you slide a smaller hose into the tank and turn the pump on and then it pumps out the gas,” says Nigoff.
Thieves can also drain your tank. Lexington's police department commanders suggest keeping your car in well-lit areas and contacting the police if you see something suspicious. Brian also recommends reporting if it happens to you.
"Reporting it I think is the most important because then the police know where to increase their patrols,” says Nigoff.
Again, people LEX 18 spoke with say gas theft is not a common issue in this area but as gas prices increase it could be something to stay mindful of. Be sure to check around your car regularly to look for any signs of tampering.
Leaders suggest if you are a victim of gas theft, you report it to law enforcement to help prevent others from attempting to steal gas.