Area non-profit falls victim to gas siphoning, leaves truck full of donations out of gas

FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live)- The stuff you pay a lot of money for to keep your car running is at risk of being stolen. In fact that was the case for a delivery driver from a local non-profit. They were left without gas in the middle of Sheyenne Street in West Fargo after they believe it was stolen, siphoned right out of the truck.

Dawn Nystrom is the store manager at Fargo thrift store Arc Attic Treasures. For those of you who don't know, the store is part of the non-profit The Arc of Cass County. As you can imagine, they rely heavily on contributions from the community. But those donations were briefly halted after the delivery truck ran out of gas.

"They were out in West Fargo on a pick-up and the truck just died," says the Arc Attic Treasures south location store manager, Dawn Nystrom.

Nystrom says the driver thought it was strange because the truck had just been filled up so on to the gas station they went. But that's when they discovered something wasn't right.

"The gas just splattered out on my drivers," says Nystrom.

A tow truck and a chunk of money later, Nystrom tells us that's when they learned the gas had been siphoned out of the car, leaving behind some major damage.

"They damaged the safety valve which stops you from overfilling your vehicle," says Nystrom.

This is something Brady Olson has seen before at his Moorhead car repair shop. He tells us all it takes is sticking a hose down and suctioning out the gas. And just like Dawn Nystrom saw with the delivery truck, it can mess up your tank.

"You’ll unhook that line internally or you'll mess that up and then you can't get gasoline to go in your car," says Brady's Service Center Owner, Brady Olson.

Now, Olson tells us newer cars make it hard for thieves to steal your gas because they have systems where you pull a lever to get to the tank. However he says people can still pry it open and for older cars, Olson says a gas cap lock is another option.

"Have a Nest on it, some kind of video surveillance," says Olson.

He also tell us keeping your car in the garage at night is the safest choice or at least in a spot with video cameras. That's exactly what Nystrom tells us they will be doing from now on.

Police around the F-M area tell us this is not typically a huge issue here but that doesn't mean it's not happening. Adding, people might choose to not file a police report. Some auto part stores in the area also tell us winter is the busiest time of year for people to buy gas cap locks, along with the start of the summer.

This isn't just an issue with cars but boats left out at night have also been targeted. You can also find gas cap locks for some boats as well.