Richmond man warns drivers after thieves drill hole into his gas tank

“I actually found a hole that had been drilled into the gas tank,” Pastoric said.
A bizarre crime alert out of Richmond.
Published: Sep. 21, 2023 at 5:17 PM EDT|Updated: Sep. 21, 2023 at 6:24 PM EDT
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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - A bizarre crime alert out of Richmond. Imagine walking to your car and noticing gas dripping from under your vehicle.

A Richmond man now warns drivers after thieves drilled a hole directly into his gas tank.

“I just came outside in the morning to walk the dogs, took them for a walk and on the way back circled around the neighborhood and came back and smelled gasoline,” Tom Pastoric said.

That’s when Pastoric spotted gas dripping from under his SUV.

“As I researched it, thinking it was a fuel line or some other problem with the fuel tank, I actually found a hole that had been drilled into the gas tank,” Pastoric said.

The hole was a perfectly round 3/4 inch in the side of the gas tank.

“When I talked to one of the automotive service providers, they actually said last year they had three of them come in,” Pastoric said.

Auto shop workers tell us this isn’t a huge trend in Richmond, but it’s ramping up in bigger cities nationwide.

They also tell us it can take hours of labor to fix and be costly.

“Really be on the lookout for something like this and deter thieves from targeting your vehicle,” AAA Spokesperson Morgan Dean said. “I think those vehicles that sit higher are even more at risk because there’s more space for somebody to get under that vehicle.”

Dean said it could cost up to a thousand dollars to fix. If you have insurance, it will fall under comprehensive coverage, but he said the best way to avoid this from happening to you is to park your car in a well-lit area or a garage and update your alarms.

“When somebody is doing something like this, they are drilling that hole in the gas tank, they are siphoning out all that gas into some sort of container into their vehicle,” Dean said. “It’s going to take a few minutes, so there’s some risk there for that thief being out there, so if your alarm is going off and people are looking at your car, that really can dissuade thieves.”

Pastoric said while he is always cautious when it comes to petty crime, he’s now going to be more vigilant.

“You know you have to lock your car doors, you have to make sure you’ve taken the right precaution to protect your property, but never in the world did I expect anyone to drill into my gas tank,” Pastoric said.

Pastoric did file a police report with RPD. Police ask that if anyone sees someone suspicious near their car or in an alley, don’t hesitate to call 911.