UNION COUNTY – The high price of diesel fuel is making the contents of tucks’ fuel tanks an attractive target for area thieves.
Last week, thieves siphoned off 160 gallons of diesel fuel from the tanks of three trucks parked overnight in Linden. Earlier this month, a Rahway business had 450 gallons of diesel fuel stolen from the tanks of three of its trucks.
While regular gasoline prices have fallen below the $4 per gallon mark, diesel fuel remains more costly. The average price of a gallon of diesel in New Jersey was $4.35 last week, according to AAA’s fuel gauge report. Prices are down from an all-time high of $4.80 per gallon in mid-June, but are up 36 percent from the average price of $2.77 one year ago.
Linden authorities are warning truck drivers to be careful. “We want to make people aware now so it doesn’t become an epidemic,” said Linden police Capt. Raymond Tyra.
While newer cars and SUVs have locking gas caps to prevent theft, most trucks don’t. The vehicles usually belong to companies who use multiple drivers who would each require gas cap keys.
The Linden thefts took place on McKinley Street near Pennsylvania Avenue, between last Tuesday night and last Wednesday morning. The Rahway thefts were reported by a Pinewood Street business on Aug. 11.