Brazen Gas Thieves Target Oahu Business

By Lara Yamada
Published On: Mar 14 2012 11:50:50 PM HST
Updated On: Mar 15 2012 05:22:11 AM HST
HONOLULU -

"It happens almost every other night," says United Rental Truck Manager Conrad Feltro.

Despite a $2,000 dollar camera system and rearranging vehicles, Feltro says gas thieves are sucking their truck rental business dry.

"We tried parking them close together as close as we can, but they started to cut the lines underneath," he says. "When the prices went up that's when we started having all of these gas thefts."

And it's not just his business.

Enterprise Rental Car across the street is taking preventative measures by fixing holes in their fences and parking cars to block entrances.

And it?s not just happening in Hawaii.

As gas prices return to those record levels in 2008, another round of crime is hitting drivers nationwide; everything from cutting gas lines, to sophisticated operations, to traditional siphoning.

"We came out to get ready to take my kids to school and my gas cap was open and my lid was off," said Californian Terri Baird, who soon learned thieves had been siphoning gas from her car and her neighbor's too.

"It cost a lot of money for me to fill up my gas. I work hard for my money and it'd be nice if I could use my gas instead of somebody else taking it," she said.

This time around, some people are using special locking gas caps to deter thieves - potentially a great buy, especially for older cars, that don't have check valves in their filler necks.

It's a deterrent for some thieves, but not for the brazen ones, costing Feltro and his business big bucks.

"In addition to paying $60 dollars to fix each gas line, we're paying over four dollars per gallon now too," he says.

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