Gas siphoning is becoming a thing amidst the highest gasoline prices ever, and one correspondent experienced a pretty brazen gas guzzling theft attempt — while she was still sitting in the car.

You are well aware that gas prices are higher than ever, and you’re currently paying $5 a gallon if you’re lucky. And when a commodity becomes more valuable, you know what happens in the Bay Area. People try to steal that commodity. And just like people are stealing French bulldogs over their increasing value, thieves are now looking for ways to just steal gasoline directly from cars.

But correspondent Katy Atchison  experienced this last weekend, when thieves attempted to siphon gas from her tank while she was still sitting in the car. Her story is below.

Last weekend in Oakland, I was sitting in my car finishing up a phone call when I saw a man walk down the sidewalk towards me with a red gas tank and a whole siphoning set up in his hand. At the time I shrugged it off until I saw him literally begin tapping my gas tank door to see if it would open,  Yes, WHILE I was in the car! I remember whispering to the person on the other end of the line, “Wait…OMG, this is f*ckin’ weird!”
When the guy realized that the gas tank wouldn’t open, he simply continued down the street, never noticing me in the front seat, he then disappeared around the corner, presumably to look for potentially unlocked gas tanks.

This is not merely a one-off. Los Angeles’ KTTV reports that “AAA is seeing a rise in gas siphoning and theft across the country,” with some thieves doing the courtesy of siphoning, while others will boldly drill holes in the car and gas tank to drain the pricey fluid.  

AAA has some pretty useless-sounding recommendations, like “Park in the garage” or “park in a well-lit area with high traffic.” What may be more effective is a gas cap lock, though that won’t help if people are determined to take a drill to your car.

There is a temptation to blame the terrible thieves (fair), general inflation (somewhat fair), or the situation in Ukraine (a stretch) for the high price of gas. But when you see headlines like “Oil and gas companies are looking at a bonanza from the Ukraine war,” it’s fair to wonder… Who’s doing the real siphoning here?

Related: Where's the Cheapest Gas In the Bay Area Right Now? Pleasanton, and Kenwood [SFist]

Image: via Amazon