- Ensure clear policies and expectations for fuel usage to prevent employee gas theft.
- Use technology, such as fuel cards and GPS tracking, to help prevent and detect gas theft.
- Monitor fuel usage and keep accurate records to identify any unusual activity.
There is no doubt that gasoline prices have been soaring to new extremes with every passing day. At this rate, it is unlikely for gasoline to be a basic commodity in the future. Looking at the prices is indeed concerning as it means that there will also be a spike in fuel thefts.
“Desperate times call for desperate measures” seems to be the justification given by most gas thieves for their heinous acts. Though despite their determination to steal gas from your vehicles, there are ways to stop them from doing so.
It is easy to understand why a layman would indulge in fuel theft though the same cannot be said about employees. In order to prevent gas theft, we must first understand why and how employees commit fuel theft.
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Why are Employees Stealing Gas?
Rising gas prices are a global issue that doesn’t get half the attention that it deserves. This is because the events preceding and following the hikes are more newsworthy. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the thievery of gas get more noticed than the rising price of gas itself.
Now it might seem weird to hear employees stealing gas from their own trucks given to them by the company, after all the fuel is supposed to be used by the car. Though it will make sense once you understand the methods by which they steal.
How Do People Steal Gas from Vehicles and Gas Stations?
In the modern day, stealing gas has almost become a competition of who can come up with the most crafty methods of thievery. To be honest, these thieves come up with a few out-of-the-box solutions to their problems. With some thieves being able to steal thousands of dollars worth of fuel.
To understand how these thieves steal gas we must look at both areas of theft. Those areas are your vehicle and gas stations. We will also look at how employees are able to con companies in these very same areas.
1. Gas stations
A gas station is a more lucrative target for thieves as it has greater quantities of fuel to steal. Though a gas pump is also harder to steal from due to high surveillance and traffic. Despite the difficulty, some thieves have still managed to steal gas from a gas pump.
At a gas station, a thief steals from the station owners. That is not the case when an employee is at a gas station. Usually, an employee seals from their employer instead of the station in unorthodox ways.
There have been reports of employees using their cards issued by their employers to fill up other vehicles and containers with diesel. Since the employer pays the bill on the card, these employees steal extra diesel for themselves.
Fuel theft with vehicles has been common ever since the creation of cars. There are only so many ways to steal fuel from a vehicle. The most common method is to bust open the fuel door and siphon the fuel out of the car.
A less traditional way of fuel theft used by thieves is drilling into the fuel tank or cutting fuel lines to get to the fuel. Since drilling or cutting is more apparent it is less likely to occur. Employees again take a different route to steal from the employer.
Usually, employees that steal fuel from their company do so by siphoning fuel out of their work trucks and lying about their fuel consumption. This is why you must do everything in your power to protect your vehicle.
Beneficial Tips to Avoid Employee Gas Theft
There is no complete way to get rid of fuel theft. Though there are measures that you can take to severely discourage a thief from targeting your vehicle. These measures are usually very easy on the pocket yet highly effective at startling a potential thief.
1. Park your vehicle in a way that debilitates the thief
Ideally, you should be parking your vehicles in a garage though this is obviously not possible for most owners. The best you can do is park your vehicle in a well-lit area where your fuel door is visible. This makes any thief looking to steal your fuel very visible to the eye.
2. Get a locking gas cap
It is your duty to protect your cars from thieves by making it extremely hard for them to get away with their crimes. This is why you need to get a locking gas cap so that the thief cannot simply pop open your fuel door and access the gas tanks.
The only option left for the thief is to drill into the gas tank or cut the fuel lines, both of which make the fuel theft very visible. Basically, this tiny device will highly discourage a thief from targeting your vehicle.
3. Monitor your gas station card and fuel consumption
In case you have entrusted a card to your employees to pay for fuel bills, then you might want to check on the usage every now and then. Doing this will highlight any discrepancies that may be hiding from plain sight.
Keeping track of fuel consumption is also important as your employees might be hiding the true figures from you. If the numbers seem higher than expected then have your truck checked by a professional to understand the reason behind excess consumption.
Talking about fuel consumption it is also essential for a company to come up with ways to reduce consumption wherever they can. While doing this on current routes is hard, it is easy when you have software that optimizes routes to cut down your fuel costs.
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Depending on the method used by the thief it can be very hard to know if your fuel has been stolen. These are signs of fuel theft that you might want to look out for.
- Leaky fuel tank
- The smell of gasoline or diesel
- Irregular fuel bills
- Failed engine ignition
- Lower fuel level
If you suspect gas theft then immediately call the police and check if the thief tampered with any other mechanisms in your car. Also, check for any surveillance footage to identify the culprits behind the theft.
It depends on what devices you’re talking about. Traditional locking gas caps do provide an extra level of security to your vehicle though the same cannot be said for other devices.
It is already considered unsafe to park your cars outside for extended periods of time and these gas thefts only make the distrust worse. With the latest events happening around the country, it appears that not even a gas pump is safe from theft.
Such events only make people wary and anxious wondering if there are any permanent solutions to get rid of gas theft. While there is no perfect way there are measures to discourage thieves from getting access to your car.
While gas theft issues are hard to deal with, issues such as route planning and optimization are easily countered with Upper. Start Upper’s 7-day free trial today to know how Upper helps you save tremendous amounts of time and money.