5 Ways to Protect Your Car From Gas Thieves

Fuel is such a valuable resource that people steal it. We’re not talking about elaborate heists pulled off by terrorists or even pump-and-runners making it out of gas stations without paying. We’re talking about thieves siphoning gas from other people’s cars. Big oil companies and gas station owners aren’t the only victims. We ordinary folks are, too.


In fact, siphoning gas from individual cars is becoming so common that some states, such as Illinois, are implementing harsher penalties for gas theft. With gas prices on the upswing for summer, we predict a correlating rise in siphoned gas. So, now is the best time to take preventative measures to keep your car safe from gas thieves.

Tip #1: Get a Locking Gas Cap

Fuel cap

An easily accessible gas cap is a thief’s dream | Photo credit: Mario Roberto Duran Ortiz

Gone are the days of envying drivers with secure gas tanks. You can become one of them by buying an aftermarket gas cap replacement that comes with a lock. Be sure to get one specifically designed for your year, make, and model. No gas thief in his right mind would fiddle around with a locked gas cap when he could easily move on to the next car with a much more accessible fuel tank.

Tip #2: Keep the Gas Cap Key With You at All Times

If parking in an attended lot or garage, give only the car key to the attendant. There's no reason for the attendant to have your gas cap key as well.

Tip #3: Park Within Earshot of Your Home

Car park

A locking gas cap will stave off most gas thieves, but a determined one will do whatever she can to get into your fuel tank. It’s impossible to break into a locked gas cap with your bare hands, but you can do it by making a lot of noise with a cordless drill or screwdriver. Having your car within earshot means busting anyone who (loudly) tries to siphon gas from your car.

Tip #4: Park in Busy, Well-Lit Areas

There’s no reason for a thief to target your car if there’s a lot of witnesses. It also can’t hurt to park in clear view of a functioning surveillance camera whenever possible.

Tip #5: Keep Your Car in the Garage Overnight

Don’t have a garage? Consider installing a motion-sensor flood light right next to where you park your car. The sudden lighting will scare most intruders away.