EXCLUSIVE: Rash of Gas Thefts Involving Drilled Tanks in South Maui
We have several reports of vehicles damaged with holes drilled in their gas tanks, in what appears to be an effort to steal gas.
Crews from the Maui Fire Department responded to several 9-1-1 calls this week, with the most recent incident reported at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 outside of South Maui Fitness next to Fabiani’s off of East Līpoa Street in Kīhei.
One of the victims tells Maui Now that when they filed a police report, they were told that at least five other victims had reported similar activity. Sources tell Maui Now that the suspect(s) accomplished the thefts by going underneath the vehicles and drilling straight through the bottom of the gas tank.
Ronnie Heroldt, one of the victims called the crime “a big headache” and worried that it could result in his Jeep being totaled. “I think it screwed up my motor or fuel pump,” he said in a message to Maui Now.
“I made it from South Maui Fitness to Hawaiian Moon when I noticed a strong smell of gasoline. When I looked at the back of my vehicle, the fuel was pouring out,” said Heroldt, who waited for hours for a tow truck to arrive. He was then faced with the further inconvenience of filing a claim with his insurance adjuster, and obtaining a rental vehicle while an assessment is done on his Jeep.
Others say the act has forced vehicle owners to completely replace their entire gas tank and expressed concern of the potential fire or explosion hazard that could result.
Maui Now is currently awaiting Police reports for more detailed information on each incident.
*(Check back for further details, which will be posted as they become available.)