Police warn drivers to protect themselves from petrol theft as oil prices soar

Sanctions against the Russian oil producer for its invasion of Ukraine have pushed up fuel prices already inflated by lower production due to the Covid-19 pandemic. That means Americans returning to commuting and travel face increased costs at the pump on top of two years of financial hardship.

Some police departments are calling for increased caution as the value of a tank of gas increases.

In Washington State, the Everett Police Department and Hoquiam Police Department suggest drivers take precautionary measures, such as purchasing a locking gas cap and parking in a parking lot. visible and well-lit area.
“We often find out about these thefts later when the owner goes to the gas station to fill up and finds all the fuel spilled under the vehicle from the cut fill line,” said Hoquiam Police Chief Jeff Myers, in a Facebook post.
In a Facebook post, the Renton Police Department in Washington also suggested drivers avoid parking in public places for “extended periods of time” and position vehicles so the fuel door can be seen from a main road.

“We understand that a motivated thief cannot be deterred from stealing, no matter how hard we try to protect our valuables,” Renton police said. “But the goal is to introduce deterrents that will make them feel uncomfortable, or present annoyance that will cause them to leave the area.”

The Atlanta Police Department said it arrested a man earlier this month who “punctured gas tanks and stole gasoline.”

“During these crimes, the suspect involved appears to have used a tool to punch a hole in the gas tanks of the victims’ vehicles, resulting in hundreds or thousands of dollars in additional costs for the victim to repair. gas tanks,” the department said in a news release.

And in Michigan, a company said it now requires drivers to prepay for gas or pay with a credit card at the pump.

“Rising fuel costs have dramatically increased the number of car departures that we are experiencing,” Britton Gas and Grocery said. “We tried to avoid this for many years, but we can no longer cover the costs of fuel theft.”

In British Columbia, Canada, authorities have received complaints about pickup trucks with punctured gas tanks and stolen fuel over the past two weeks.

“Thieves don’t just siphon gasoline from the tank, they drill a hole in the tank leading to a costly repair,” said Debra A. Katerenchuk, Royal Canadian Mounted Police constable in Elk Valley. “Rising gas prices are one thing, but the cost of replacing the gas tank is much higher.”

Nationally, the average price of a gallon of regular gasoline is currently $4.31, down from $3.72 a week ago, according to AAA.

Record prices

On Monday, the price of regular gasoline in the United States hit $4.14, breaking the previous high of $4.11 per gallon since 2008, according to the AAA. A year earlier, drivers paid an average of $2.77.
The war in Ukraine is having an impact, with the United States announcing on Tuesday a ban on all energy imports from Russia, one of the world’s largest oil exporters.
The UK also said it would phase out oil imports from Russia by the end of the year, and the European Union announced a plan to achieve energy independence from Russia by the end of the year. 2030.
US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said on Thursday it was “certain” the sanctions will have an economic effect on the United States.

“It’s already pushed up global oil prices. We’re seeing it ourselves in pump prices,” Yellen said.

Offshore disputes have previously driven up prices at the pump, notably in the 1970s, when tensions in the Middle East led to demand exceeding supply. Then Americans lined up for hours at the pumps, protested and some even stole gasoline as prices soared.
But there were other drivers behind the latest price hike.
Why US gas prices are at an all-time high and why they will stay high for a long time

Oil production has plummeted during the pandemic as travel and travel have slowed, reducing demand. Production is still lagging behind pre-pandemic levels despite a 25% increase in passenger vehicle use since the start of the year.

About a third of the 24-cent-a-gallon increase in the price of regular gasoline occurred in the last five days of the month, following the Russian invasion, according to data compiled for AAA by the Information Service on oil prices.

Prices have soared since then, which will fuel the March inflation figures. According to data released this week, the consumer price index rose 0.8% in February, with a 6.6% rise in gasoline prices contributing nearly a third of the overall increase inflation for the month. Over the past year, they have increased by 38%.
“Rising gas prices are particularly painful for low-income consumers. On the one hand, gas represents a larger share of their total expenses. On the other hand, low-income consumers tend to work in industries where remote work is not an option, and therefore their demand is inelastic to gas prices,” Anna Zhou, an economist at Bank of America, told CNN.
Some hope for lower prices emerged on Wednesday, with UAE Ambassador to Washington Yousef Al Otaiba telling CNN the country wants to increase oil production and would encourage the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries cartel. (OPEC) to increase supply.

His comments saw the price of U.S. crude and Brent, the global benchmark, mark their biggest one-day drop in nearly two years.

If OPEC agrees to open the taps, it could help fill the global supply gap.

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