Another vehicle targeted by gas theft; Winnipeg police keeping eye on reported thefts

A Winnipeg man has become one of a growing number of gas theft victims in the city, after discovering someone had drilled a hole in his truck’s gas tank.

Scott Perdonic, who lives in the Transcona area, said he had been off work for the past two weeks and hadn’t been driving his truck. On Friday morning, after finding his truck was empty of gas, he tried to fill it up.

“I watched about $60 worth of liquid gold go pouring out the tank out the bottom,” he said. “Someone had drilled a hole in the bottom of the gas tank, and I guess drained out whatever was in there.”

Sorry said he has reported the theft to police.

Winnipeg police confirmed they have received Perdonic’s report of the theft, along with a number of other similar reports.

“Certainly not enough right now to call it a rising trend, but something that has captured our attention,” Const. Dani McKinnon, a public information officer with the Winnipeg Police Service, told CTV News in an interview on Wednesday.

She said with gas prices soaring and some people feeling the financial constraints, it is a possibility that this type of theft may become more common.

Gas prices in Winnipeg are sitting around 173.9 cents per liter as of Friday – a small reprieve from the record high 189.9 the city saw earlier in the week.

“With the price of fuel these days, I guess (I’m) not really that surprised, to be honest,” Perdonic said. “If it keeps going up, I can only imagine it’s only going to get worse. I’m sure I’m not the only one.”

Scott Perdonic, who lives in the Transcona area, said he discovered someone had drilled a hole in his truck’s gas tank on March 11, 2022. (Submitted: Scott Perdonic)

The gas theft in Transcona came days after a Winnipeg daycare found the gas had been stolen from three of its vans. Similar to Perdonic’s situation, the tanks of the three vans were also drilled and emptied of gas.

READ MORE: ‘It was very disheartening’: Tanks drilled, gas stolen from Winnipeg daycare’s vans

It is a method of theft that police and fire officials warn can be dangerous and potentially deadly.

“If you are using a power tool which can ignite some heat and sparks, gas being such a volatile liquid, could cause a fire, explosion, very serious injury, or worst-case scenario, death,” McKinnon said.

It is a concern echoed by Scott Wilkinson, the assistant chief of the Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Service.

“It’s very dangerous to drill into a gas tank,” he said. “When they’re being serviced, they have to be cleaned and rinsed to remove any vapors for risk of flash fire and explosion.”

McKinnon said beyond the potential danger of stealing gas, drilling a hole in the tank also causes a large amount of damage and requires the tank to be replaced.

Perdonic said his truck is now being towed to a shop where the gas tank can be fixed or replaced. Even with the fix, Perdonic said he is concerned about something like this may happen again.

Police suggest people park their vehicles in an indoor garage or a well-lit area. If parking outside, police say people should check their vehicles often.

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