Illustration for article titled The Five Best Ways To Steal Gas...And One Really Bad Way

Come on, admit it. The last time you put $65 of gas into your Camry, the idea crossed your mind for at least a split second. Like any other commodity, it's easier to steal gas than it is to pay for it. So if you're looking for a way — totally for informational purposes, of course — here's five of the best — and one really bad way — to do it:

5. Siphoning Fuel From Someone Else's Tank

Pros: Being able to pick the location, secluded is best. The ability to directly target your enemies. Relatively simple and cheap.

Cons: No way to check how much fuel is in the tank before you decide to steal it. Applying suction by mouth may result in severe vomiting, recurring nightmares, cancer, addiction.

Instructions: Insert a small, stiff pipe into a vehicle's gas tank. Apply suction. When fuel starts to flow, place pipe exit below tank height and fill jerry can.


4. The Old Switcheroo

Pros: No special tools or knowledge needed (except a midget or small child).

Cons: Requires a relatively advanced level of grifting, limited time means you probably won't get away with a full tank. Risk of confrontation is high.

Instructions: Simply create a distraction while your assistant swaps someone's paid-for pump into your own tank.

3. RFID Hacking

Illustration for article titled The Five Best Ways To Steal Gas...And One Really Bad Way

Pros: Non-confrontational. Little physical effort required. Perfect for nerds.

Cons: Requires a high-level tech know-how. It's a felony offense. High up-front equipment cost.

Instructions: Many gas stations offer SpeedPass-style pay-by-RFID. Unlike RFID cloning a credit card, the encryption ciphers in these cards are vulnerable to a brute force attack. Crack the code and give yourself free gas for life.

2. Siphoning On An Industrial Scale

Pros: The economies of scale. Relatively stealthy. High profit margins.

Cons: Requires the possession and subsequent modification of a large trailer. Penalties are commiserate with the scale of the theft.

Instructions: Pull a trailer fitted with a trap door, a large tank and a pump over a gas station's underground reservoir. While you pretend to make repairs under the hood, have an assistant open the trailer's trap door, insert a pipe down into the reservoir and then pump out the gas.


1. Pump Hacking

Pros: The ability to fill up multiple vehicles. Very stealthy. Once learned, this is a skill with near universal applicability.

Cons: Requires specialist knowledge and tools.

Instructions: Details are murky, but it appears that fuel pump service tools are making their way into thieves' hands. Get your hands on such a device, the technical know how to use it, exploit the system.

-1. Drilling Gas Tanks

Pros: Any idiot with a drill can do it.

Cons: Spark, fire, death, destruction. Permanently damages another person's vehicle, and that's just wrong.

Instructions: Climb under car with drill, make hole, slide container under cascade of highly flammable liquid. Best to avoid open flames, static electricity, cell phones, electric drills.


*Note: Gasoline is most flammable as a vapor. By drilling a tank, you're removing a liquid while leaving behind vapor. Vapor will also permeate the area around the vehicle. Even if you manage to avoid setting yourself on fire, there's always a chance the car may blow up when the owner tries to start it. Killing people is bad.


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