Beware! $4 + a gallon is bringing out the thieves in our communities.

We recently alerted our readers to watch out for copper piping, wiring and even art pieces that were being stolen by thieves looking to cash in on the rising price of copper. It was only a matter of time before the same thing happened to the fuel tanks on our vehicles.

Neil Cavuto ran a story on Fox’s “Cavuto World” today about thieves who are even going so far as to drill into tanks in an effort to steal a vehicle’s fuel. Gasoline, Dielsel and even greasy cooking oil is being stolen. That’s right – cooking oil.

I first heard that old cooking oil could be used to run a car on from my brother in Northern Ireland about four or five years ago. There was very little start-up costs involved and being the owner of a restaurant, he had a ready supply of used oil. He told me at that at that time, people were converting their vehicles to run on the oil and were going around gathering up used oil from restaurants. The owners of these establishments were thrilled since they used to pay to have the old oil removed previously.

Apparently this recycling of cooking oil has become so popular, that restaurants are now selling it – last I heard for about $1.50 a gallon. Thieves have discovered its worth and are now draining the oil tanks located at the rear of restaurants. The report went on to say that SUVs are especially being targeted as their size gives the thieves plenty of good cover. The fact that their tanks are larger and contain more fuel is an added advantage for them.

What can you do? For starters, if your fuel cap is not lockable, replace it with one that can be locked. If at all possible, keep your vehicle in a locked garage. If that is not an option, park it in a well lit area. Unfortunately, the higher the prices go at the pump, the more prevalent that fuel thefts will become.

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