Police in Decatur, Ill., report gasoline thefts are on the rise community wide, beginning with a few gallons more than a month ago as gasoline prices hovered around $3 a gallon and now sometimes involving hundreds of dollars worth of fuel, according to the Herald & Review
"The thieves are targeting fleet vehicles, large vans or trucks," said Decatur police Sgt. Steve Chabak. Thieves cut the filler hose to the gas tank and siphon out the fuel, thus bypassing any locking gas line caps, Chabak said. Not only is the gasoline lost, but the vehicles are damaged as well.
The large quantities of gas being stolen lead business owners and police to believe that thieves are using an electric pump and a truck with a 500-gallon tank.
The Decatur School District’s maintenance fleet has been a target, as have local businesses. John Svendsen, of Svendsen Auto Repair and Budget Rental, said the thefts at his business have been from Budget rental trucks that were dropped off after the business closed, with the required full tanks before rental turn-in. Short of hiring an armed guard for the business, Svendsen said he doesn't see a solution.