Police are warning Southern California residents about thieves drilling into residents’ gas tanks to steal fuel from their cars.
“With the sharp and fast price rise at the gas pumps, cities across Southern California have seen an increase in gas theft,” the Fontana Police Department stated days after arresting a pair of suspects in Bloomington.
Police on June 8 were initially called to a Shakey’s Pizza parking lot due to reports of suspects in a black pickup truck with a tarp in back stealing gasoline from a car.
The suspects were nowhere to be found when officers arrived, but the vehicle was later located in a nearby neighborhood.
The truck took off when police attempted to contact the driver and a pursuit ensued.
The chase ended several minutes later at a railroad yard in Bloomington, police said. Video of the incident was posted on the Fontana Police Department’s Facebook page.
Both suspects were arrested after a foot chase and were booked into the West Valley Detention Center.
Police determined neither of the suspects were residents of San Bernardino County and that they had outstanding arrest warrants.
The Police Department urged the public to be on the lookout for thieves using similar methods to steal gas.
Modern day thieves often use power tools to drill into gas tanks instead of just siphoning out fuel with rubber hoses, police said.
“The cost of damage to the gas tank far exceeds that of the gasoline, and we recommend that you park your vehicle in a garage or well-lit and high-traveled area to help deter would-be thieves,” the Police Department stated.
Residents were asked to call 911 if they see or hear any suspicious activity near their vehicle.