Another ordinary day that begins again… That’s what you said to yourself when you got up this morning! After changing into your best clothes and quickly swallowing your breakfast, you are finally ready to start your car. About time, you are once again in the thick of it! But after turning on the ignition, the fuel gauge related light comes on. As? You refueled yesterday before you went home! Annoyed, you realize… You have been the victim of a fuel theft!
An empty fuel tank after a brief absence? Rest assured, you are not the only one who has noticed this anomaly. Given current prices, fuel theft has been on the rise for some time. In this article, we will tell you how the bad guys attack your tank and what steps you can take to avoid falling victim to this malicious practice.
An abnormal drop in fuel and here are motorists in a panic! Given the price displayed on the pump, we can easily understand them. But why the heck is your gauge showing a low fuel level? However, his daily workday is only limited to the famous “homework” and vice versa. Given the increase in fuel theft, you are sure that someone has had access to the tank of your car and has taken the liberty of depriving you of several liters of fuel. To make sure, he takes the trouble to check the tank of his car and there, astonishment… The thieves did not hesitate to make several holes in his fuel tank. There is no more doubt, in fact it is a proven case of theft!
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The thieves’ modus operandi is a piece of cake, in this case. They take advantage of the fact that your car is parked far from your house and in a dark area, to force the deposit using a drill. This technique is used when they notice that the filler neck is protected by a lock in addition to a cap. Some do not hesitate to make several holes in the tank. The goal? Circulate as much air as possible in the tank to recover fuel faster. As a result, you end up with a dry tank and a hopeless fuel gauge!
What is the name of gas theft?
As you may have seen, thugs no longer hesitate to retrieve the fuel from the depot by any means. This type of theft commonly called “siphoning” is not recent. But with rising fuel prices, gas theft has become more and more widespread. It is not for nothing that the police and gendarmes ask vehicle owners to be more vigilant, especially in motorway service areas. 6 million liters of fuel stolen each year, according to the magazine auto plus. What to be alarmed!
How do you siphon a car?
In fact, one of the most common methods is to use a rubber hose to suck the fuel out of the tank and transfer it to another container. This process is very fast and does not require much material.
Private vehicles, heavy trucks belonging to transport companies, thieves just do not spare anyone!
Far from taking this act of vandalism seriously, some car manufacturers do not provide specific devices to prevent fuel diversion. Therefore, it is up to you, motorists, to act to deal with this phenomenon that is far from isolated.
Several steps can be taken to protect your car’s fuel tank, here are a few:
Restrict access to your fuel tank
This should be your first instinct, to limit any risk of diversion. If you have the possibility, do not hesitate to park your vehicle in a garage. Outside, please park in a secure parking lot or in a well-lit area. Another trick, remember to place the side where the tank is, along a wall to prevent it from being seen. For truckers, remember to park your trucks in areas equipped with video surveillance systems.
Use anti-siphon devices
In this case, you can consider installing an anti-siphon filter, a safety plug or simply an anti-siphon system. If you’re into all things high-tech, you can always connect the anti-siphon device to your vehicle’s alarm. In case of attempted theft, you will be notified immediately by message. Technology, when you hold us!
Avoid refueling at strategic moments
In fact, fuel theft generally increases during long weekends and school holidays. In this case, avoid refueling during these periods, if you do not intend to use your vehicle. Especially if your tank is not protected and easily accessible!
Fuel theft, what to do?
This is not to sound the alarm, but unfortunately fuel theft is widespread and can be very costly for vehicle owners. If you are the victim of a fuel theft, it is important that you act quickly by dialing 17 to report it to law enforcement, be it the police or the gendarmerie. Feel free to file a complaint, at the same time!
Theft of fuel, what does the penal code say?
According to the penal code and article 311-2, fraudulent embezzlement of energy to the detriment of third parties is assimilated to theft. Furthermore, by puncturing the vehicle’s fuel tank, it becomes a real threat to the motorist and other road users. A fire can break out at any time, as the fuel is a highly flammable liquid!
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Theft of fuel, what does the insurance say?
You don’t know it, but fuel thefts may be covered by some auto insurance. When fuel theft occurs and other damage is observed, the vandalism warranty may apply and pay to repair the vehicle. In this case :
- You can claim compensation only if the culprit is found and if you are insured against third parties;
- You will be reimbursed if you have taken out comprehensive insurance.
As you will have understood, dear readers, this period is marked by vigilance and caution. To avoid running out of fuel, remember to properly equip and protect your vehicle. Thieves are never far…
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