‘Feels violating:’ Local families frustrated with gas theft on top of unaffordable gas prices

SPOKANE, Wash. — Rising gas prices are making crime that much worse as local families spend more time and energy fending off gas thieves.

The Bozo family has had their gas siphoned twice in the Cliff Cannon neighborhood. They love their community but are frustrated with the crime they’re stuck paying for.

“It feels violating. It’s not something you expect to have happen at your home,” said Chris Bozo.

He moved in to the neighborhood with his young family in 2019. Since then, he says they’ve seen a change in crime.

“It seems like a lot of the reports of theft were always happening below this point, you know as you’re getting close to 8th and 6th Avenue,” he said. “It seems like it has trickled up hill here on the South Hill, as well.”

Families have to park on the streets and in the alley in his neighborhood, leaving gas tanks on full display. Thieves know this and are on the hunt to siphon and steal what they can.

“We certainly are mindful about what’s happening from about 9 o’clock on in the night,” Bozo said.

Don’t expect these crimes to go anywhere anytime soon. State Farm says the higher the gas prices, the higher your chances are of having gas stolen.

To avoid being a victim, follow these simple steps.

1. Park in well-lit, well-traveled locations.
2. Park in your garage or driveway if possible. If you have to park in the street, do so under street lighting.
3. Position your vehicle so the fuel door is seen from a main road.
4. Consider installing a locking gas cap, even if your fuel door locks.

Rising gas prices are already hard to handle, and there’s no telling when they’ll get better. Crime just makes dealing with inflation that much worse.

“We are a family where we’ve definitely had to get by month-to-month in our paychecks, and the last time we had got hit with the gas I had just filled up the truck,” Bozo added.

They’ve lost hundreds of dollars and the feeling of security they’ve hoped for at home. Since these incidents, Bozo is working to make their home more secure and less susceptible to thieves. They plan to buy a locking gas cap and are already parking where their gas caps are hidden and hard to access.

“It’s definitely thrown a wrench at us plenty of times,” Bozo concluded.

If you’re interested in investing in a locking gas cap, you can browse options at Auto Zone HERE, Walmart HERE and Advance Auto Parts HERE.