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

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

With summer comes the threat of higher gas prices — just as everyone has run out of money. Today we bring you a classic from the Jalopnik vault, Five Ways To Steal Gas, updated with the latest technique.


Come on, admit it. Since you've been laid off/had your pay reduced/lost all your savings/got caught running a Ponzi scheme, you've been thinking up ways to reduce your expenses. 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 six of the best — and one really bad way — to do it:

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

6. Pirate An Oil Tanker
Pros: Results in enough fuel to supply entire failed state. Relatively low risk to reward ratio. Very easy, no special skills required beyond basic navigation, AK-47 firing. Illegal for tanker crews to carry firearms. More glamorous than other methods.
Cons: You'll need to steal a refinery too. If you accidentally steal an American tanker, snipers will shoot you in the face. Hopping on an already crowded bandwagon/dinghy.
Instructions: Obtain a small boat and an AK-47; crew and RPG-7 optional. Sail into the sea-lanes south and east of the Gulf of Aden. Look for an oil tanker; they're the big ones without shipping containers on the deck. Board the ship, tie up the crew and sail home. Bonus points for jaunty headwear.

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
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.


Rob Emslie

There's also the option of commandeering a tanker-

Pros: You get to hang with Humungous, the coolest postapocalyptic brute leader ever. Also, all the dingo you can eat.

Cons: May require the wearing of ass-exposing leather loincloth/chaps combo, which is less flattering on some than others. Additionally, chance of being dragged under the rig, and then run over by multiple wacky dune buggies.