Five Mile thieves puncturing gas tanks to steal fuel
SPOKANE, Wash. — A dangerous trend is sweeping across the Five Mile Prairie with residents finding their vehicle gas tanks punctured and drained, costing them hundreds of dollars in repairs.
“It’s just really frustrating that people think that’s an OK thing to do,” Kris McNevin said.
McNevin usually parks her truck on the street outside her house but two weeks ago while she was out of town someone punctured a hole in the truck’s fuel tank while her family was sleeping.
Firefighters were called to clean up the leaking diesel and her truck needed a new fuel tank.
“It’s frustrating that they probably got a few gallons of fuel, they let the rest of it just leak out onto the road, and so their benefit was probably maybe $20 and it ended up costing us 600 plus the fuel on the road,” McNevin said.
She took her truck to Five Mile Auto Repair, where another vehicle was being worked on with the same type of puncture.
“It seems to be happening a lot right now for whatever reason, gas prices seem to be in the $3.50 — $3.60 range but somebody’s needing fuel,” Five Mile Auto owner Steve Schafer said.
Schafer says stealing gas this way is dangerous for both the thieves and the drivers.
“Gasoline is flammable and whoever is doing this kind of work hopefully isn’t using a drill that creates sparks,” Schafer said.
McNevin is just hoping this vandalism and thievery in her neighborhood will end soon.
“You never like to think of someone messing with your property, that makes you uncomfortable,” she said.