Gasoline may be the next target for thieves

Ron Craig, Crime Prevention/Community Policing Officer

        As the prices of gasoline and other fuels continue to skyrocket, it only makes sense thieves will set their sights on them as their next target. Experts are saying as the war in Ukraine continues, the price of fuel will continue to rise.     It’s anyone’s guess where these prices will plateau, but the cost of filling up your tank is quickly reaching $100. This is especially true for larger vehicles such as pickup trucks and larger SUVs.
        Now is the time for area residents to take notice and guard against this likely elevation in thefts of fuel. Two of the axioms of crime prevention are “deter” and “delay.”
        Starting with the least expensive of deterrence options is installing a lockable gas cap on your vehicle. They are not that expensive and can be installed fairly easily. It is true that lockable gas caps can be removed, but this would take time, which means a delay for the thief. Thieves don’t like spending a lot of time at a crime scene, so most would rather go on to their next target instead.
        Thieves also don’t like working in well-lit areas. If possible, park your vehicle in areas near lights. If you must leave your vehicle parked outside overnight, you may want to consider installing lights near where you park. A motion-detecting device is ideal, as it will only come on when motion is detected. These also are the least expensive to operate as they turn off at a pre-determined and often selectable period of time.
        If you park your vehicle inside a garage, make sure you keep the doors locked. Otherwise, you are providing thieves with a safer environment in which they can be concealed as they work.
        If you have a garage and keep cans of gas inside, hide these gas cans. You don’t want to give thieves another reason to break into your garage, which may result in giving them access to your house.
        If you must park on the street, options are limited. This is where a lockable gas cap may be your best and only option.
        One avenue to preventing theft of any kind is being observant. Frequently look outside to check your vehicle and neighbors’ vehicles, and if you see something suspicious, call 9-1-1 immediately to report it. Even if you get up in the middle of the night, look outside.
        If your vehicle is equipped with a remote starter, most of them include a “panic button” that will sound your horn. This will likely scare off thieves.
        It is noteworthy that panic buttons on vehicle remote devices can be used in any circumstance in which the desired effect is to draw attention.
        This article is a public service from the Community Policing/Crime Prevention Division of the Lake Township Police Department. Township residents may get more information on crime prevention and public safety topics by contacting Ron Craig, crime prevention specialist/community policing officer, at 419-481-6354.

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