Drilling for gas? Sheriff investigates reports of car gas tanks drilled dry

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - It seems like a troublesome, and potentially dangerous way to steal gas, but deputies in Rowan are investigating several reports of holes being drilled into gas tanks.

Investigators say it's happened several times over the last few months, including four reports filed in the last few days from homes in the area of Old Concord Road and Mt. Hope Church Road.

“I had had a full tank, just filled up that week, and it bottomed out on empty and my gas light came on, and I could smell the odor of gas," Dawn Speagle told WBTV.  “Had a nice hole about the size of your finger, drilled up into the tank and there might have been a gallon left in it dripping out.”

In each case there are small holes in the tank, and the tank is empty, leaving the car owner dry and facing an expensive gas tank replacement or repair.

"It could run anywhere up $900 to $1000," Jerry's Shell mechanic John Persinger told WBTV, adding that if the car is high mileage, the price would be even higher,   "At least over 100,000 miles we recommend a new fuel pump and that could also run up to 2-300 more, and that's in addition to the $1000 for the tank."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Salisbury-Rowan Crime Stoppers at 1-866-639-5245.