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Thief steals Aurora woman's gas after drilling hole in car's tank

Posted at 5:21 PM, Jun 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-10 19:53:19-04

AURORA, Colo. — A dry puddle of gas outside an Aurora woman's apartment is a reminder of what a crook did to her car this week.

"You can't just take what's not yours," Stacey Morris said Friday.

Her brand-new Chevy Trax had been parked in the same spot for several days after getting a flat tire. When her husband took it to get repaired Thursday, he quickly learned something else was wrong.

"He notices that there's one bar of gas and starts to fill up," she said. "Then, all of a sudden, some man [at the gas station] pointed out to him that there's gas leaking out on the floor everywhere."

Video her husband took shows the $50 worth of gas he had just put in draining from the tank. He took it back to the dealership, which confirmed someone had drilled a hole.

"They said it's about $4,000 for a new one. And since insurance could cover it, that's still about $2,000 through insurance," Morris said.

What happened to her is rare, Skyler McKinley with AAA says, but could happen more often thanks to higher gas prices.

"This is one of those things where we see sort of the economic ripple effects of high, high gas prices," McKinley said. "Somebody whose back is against the wall economically commits a crime. They steal gas, they damage your vehicle. Then, you have to take your vehicle to the shop, and then suddenly you're paying thousands of dollars for the repair."

The Aurora Police Department is aware of at least 18 reports so far this year involving "holes being found in gas tanks," a spokesperson said. The Denver Police Department did not have any stats available Friday.

Down in Colorado Springs, there have been more reports through April of this year, 96, than all of last year, 53. In 2019 and 2018, the police department had records of just a few.

Morris says others in her complex were also targeted. While she understands times are tough, what this person did for a tiny bit of gas will have a lasting impact.

"I just wanted to do something nice and get started on some life goals that I've had on myself. One of them was buying a new car," Morris said. "One of them was getting into a house. But now, this is another step back."

McKinley says the best way to protect yourself from gas theft, or any other type of car theft/vandalism, is to check on your car daily if you're not driving it regularly. If you are, make sure to park in a well-lit area or garage, if possible.