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January 17, 2013 05:05 PM

Gas Stolen, Cars Vandalized In SW Sioux Falls

Sioux Falls, SD

Some Sioux Falls drivers are hopping into their trucks and SUVs only to discover their gas tank is not only empty, it has a hole in it.

The gas thieves have hit seven vehicles in eight days and there's a clear pattern to the crimes. All of the incidents happened in the southwest part of town. One apartment parking lot was even hit twice.

Two residents of Autumn Park Apartments just off of Louise Avenue were hit. Emily Sorenson said the ordeal all began when she parked her Honda SUV farther away from her apartment building than normal.

The next day the vehicle wouldn't start. It appeared to be out of gas. Gas was pooled on the ground under the vehicle. After the tow truck came, Sorenson called the fire department to clean up the fuel spill.

Her mechanic also found holes cut in the vehicle’s gas tank. He said it wasn’t the first he had seen this from the Louise Avenue area.

Police say pickup thieves are targeting trucks and SUVs because they are easier to reach. Since you can't tell if a tank is full by looking at it, sometimes thieves only get away with only $20 or $30 worth of fuel. And the repair costs can be in the thousands.

Police say be on the lookout for anyone suspicious around your vehicle and if you have any tips about the crimes, call Crime Stoppers at 605-367-7007.

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