The Five Best Ways To Steal Gas...And One Really Bad Way

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.



I work in a homeless shelter. We have a couple of vans we use to move people and materials. Said vans, being built to carry large loads, have lots of ground clearance.

Some mouthbreather from God Knows Where came in, got lunch, then went back out to his shitbox truck, removed a fuel can from said truck, and undid the simple, cheap clamps that held the fill hose onto the fill nozzle, stole 5 gallons of gas and ALLOWED THE REST TO DRAIN ONTO THE GROUND. I watched it all on our security video.

You dirty ratfuck cocksucker. We're a fucking CHARITY. If you had just asked, I might have given you some gas for NOTHING, but now so help me if I ever catch your sorry ass I've got a gas hose with your name on it. It's not for siphoning. I'll fill you up with gas all right.

Whew, vitriol! Glad to let that out.

These bastards working the corners of the security measures are stealing from all of us. This ain't The Stainless Steel Rat, folks, the damage they do hurts all of us, jacking the cost of fuel up to cover the losses that the thieves themselves generate. The retailers run at razor-thin profit margins already; a single theft of $50 worth of gas may require another 1500 gallons of sales to cover the loss.

If you spot anybody stealing fuel, kick his ass. Hard. A grateful nation of Jalops will thank you.