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This Is Uncomfortable

Gas tanks coming under lock and key

Jeremy Hobson May 16, 2008
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TEXT OF STORY

Bob Moon: Meanwhile, with the price of gasoline at record highs, there are growing police reports around the country for stolen gas. We’re talking gas siphoning from the tanks of parked cars. And that newly popular crime is sparking another boom, as Jeremy Hobson reports.


Jeremy Hobson: So I’m just going to walk over to a gas tank of a random car here, open it up, unscrew the lid, and bam: free gas.

The fact that it was so easy for me to do that is what has Americans worried about the increasingly valuable liquid investments in the tanks of their cars. So they’re heading to the auto parts store in search of a $20 locking gas cap. You need a separate key to open it.

Chris Hoffman represents a company called Stant, one of the nation’s largest gas cap manufacturers.

Chris Hoffman: Sales over the last few months have just been growing like crazy for locking gas caps. As gas prices go up, sales go up.

Hoffman says sales are almost three times what they were a year ago. So maybe somebody is happy that the national average for a gallon of gas is now almost $3.78.

In Washington, I’m Jeremy Hobson for Marketplace.

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