North Okanagan RCMP urges deterrence as gas theft continues in region

Click to play video: 'Gas thefts reported in the North Okanagan'
Gas thefts reported in the North Okanagan
Gas thefts reported in the North Okanagan – Jan 9, 2023

While Okanagan, B.C. gas prices are no longer at historic highs, the problem of gas theft has not gone away. A few  North Okanagan motorists have reported gas thefts in recent weeks.

Although police are not calling it a trend, they have a few tips to keep your vehicle safe.

On Wednesday morning, SilverStar resident Keira Hindle found her truck had been targeted by gas thieves at the ski hill. The truck’s tank was punctured and empty.

“There was a fresh drill hole in our gas tank you could see the fresh metal sort of spiraling out and [there] was just gas everywhere on the ground,” said Hindle.
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“It’s frustrating. A lot of people think that those who live up at SilverStar have money and have ease and access to things and it is not true. There are a lot of regular people that live up there and it is now going to take us a couple of weeks to get [the vehicle] sorted and fixed.

In a separate gas theft attempt in the Mission Hill neighbourhood of Vernon last week a person dressed all in black was caught on surveillance video approaching vehicles with a jerry can.

The gas tank of a truck in the parking lot was later found to be punctured and drained. (The damaged vehicle belongs to this reporter’s partner.)

The region is no stranger to gas thefts. Last spring, amid spiking fuel prices, there was a spate of thefts reported in the North and Central Okanagan.

Now the North Okanagan RCMP says that based on the incidents that have been reported to police, there no longer appears to be any trend or noticeable increase in this type of crime.

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However, as the recent cases show, the drop-off in fuel prices hasn’t totally ended the issue.

To deter fuel thieves the RCMP recommends drivers park in well-lit and well-travelled areas, install locking gas caps, set up surveillance and report criminal activity to the police.

In her case, Hindle believes the thief only got away with at most about 15 litres.

“I really don’t understand it…it wouldn’t have benefited them that much and it is costing us a lot of money to have our gas tank repaired,” she said.

She’s urging drivers to keep an eye on their cars.

Click to play video: 'Okanagan drivers report spate of gas thefts'
Okanagan drivers report spate of gas thefts

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