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Fuel thefts in North Texas are costing some gas stations millions

In Duncanville, thieves stole more than $25,000 in diesel fuel.

Dallas police say reported fuel thefts are costing gas companies millions of dollars.

With the recent spike in gas prices, fuel thefts are becoming more common at gas stations across North Texas.

Daniel Armbruster with AAA Texas said as prices in the region are nearing four dollars, thieves are getting more sophisticated at stealing gas.

“Thieves are now drilling directly into the fuel tank especially on newer vehicles to steal gasoline, and that can be very costly for vehicle owners,” Armbruster said.

Armbruster advises drivers to look for signs if their vehicle has been tampered with. They might smell gasoline, notice a puddle under the fuel tank or the fuel gauge may be lower than it was when they last drove their car or truck.

Armbruster pointed to an incident in Duncanville where thieves stole more than $25,000 in diesel fuel. He also said fuel thefts are happening more frequently across the country, not just in Texas.

Dallas police say they’ve recently been receiving reports of fuel thefts that are costing gas stations up to millions of dollars.

“They're using skimmer devices to get your credit card information, as well as the ability to get fuel and extract unlimited amounts of fuel,” said Melinda Gutierrez, senior corporal of Media Relations at the Dallas Police Department.

Gutierrez advises drivers to pay inside the store if they notice that a pump has been tampered with.

“We know it's an inconvenience, but you know, there's even some fuel stations that have apps you can download directly where you can pay directly from your app,” Gutierrez said.

Both Armbruster and Gutierrez recommend drivers try to park in well-lit, highly visible areas or in a garage to avoid fuel theft.

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Pablo Arauz Peña is the Growth and Infrastructure Reporter for KERA News.