Gas-siphoning rampant in one Bakersfield neighborhood

Gas-siphoning rampant in one Bakersfield neighborhood »Play Video
BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KBAK/KBFX) — Imagine filling up your gas tank at night only to wake up the next morning to find it empty. That seems to be happening to some residents in one southwest Bakersfield neighborhood.

Some of the people in the neighborhood thought there was something wrong with their vehicles, and that's why they were losing gas. However, when the gas-siphoning thief left a hose behind, it all started making sense.

Debra Robinett said Friday that she came out of her home early one day to find someone had siphoned half a tank of gas from her truck.

"That's 50 bucks sucked down the hose," Robinett said. And, it's not the first time, either.

Robinett said for the past couple weeks, she's had to fill her gas tank three times a week, compared to the normal once a week. At first, Robinett thought something was wrong with her truck, because the check engine light was on. But, now, she's figured out the light was on because the gas cap was loose.

Robinett estimated her loss at as much as $500.

Police said precautions can be made to keep siphoning thieves from sucking your gas, encouraging people to utilize a gas cap lock, park in garages when possible, and start a neighborhood watch program.

A gas thief can be charged with petty theft and tampering with a vehicle.