Olds RCMP on the look out for fuel thief

Gas is being drained from pickup trucks in Olds by a brazen thief armed with a drill.

Gas is being drained from pickup trucks in Olds by a brazen thief armed with a drill.

Between five and 10 fuel thefts have been reported to Olds RCMP in recent weeks by Ford truck owners, said Staff. Sgt. Joe Sangster.

Even the truck of a local police officer was hit, causing thousands of dollars in damage.

The culprit or culprits use the drill to bore about a 1.5-cm hole in the gas tank to drain off fuel at night.

“They’re draining probably three-quarters of a tank and the homeowner is still able to drive the vehicle. Lo and behold, when they fill up again they find they’ve got a problem.”

Since the hole isn’t in the bottom of the tank, there is enough fuel left for the owners to drive away in the morning. The only obvious sign of theft is a low fuel gauge.

“Never,” said Sangster, when asked if he had ever seen this kind of theft before.

“It’s coming up with another way of doing it. Normally, it’s (taking out) the garden hose, siphoning out the gas and away you go.”

Truck owners face bills in the $2,000 to $2,500 to have tanks repaired or replaced.

“We’re working on it,” he said.

“We haven’t made any arrests yet. We have a couple of our locals we suspect but we don’t have anything on them yet.”

Police are reminding residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity.

pcowley@bprda.wpengine.com