Police Report Rise in Gasoline Theft

LIHUE, Kauai (KHNL) -- There has been a sharp increase in the number of gas thefts reported on Kauai in the last few days.

Police believe as the price of fuel goes up, the chance that thieves will target accessible vehicles goes up too.

But officials say there are ways car owners can prevent this from happening to them if they follow these basic safety tips:

- While at home, park your vehicle in a locked garage.

- If you park on the street, position your vehicle under street lighting.

- While away from home, park in well-lit and well-traveled areas where people can easily see your car.

- Avoid parking in public parking lots for long periods of time.

- When traveling off-island, leave your car at a friend's home.

- Avoid parking where your fuel door would be obscured by heavy landscaping, isolated corners  or high walls.

- Consider purchasing a locking gas cap as a preventive measure.

- Contact police if you see any suspicious behavior around unattended parked vehicles.

Anyone convicted of third degree theft of gasoline could be sentenced up to a year in jail.

According to police, the majority of the reported gas thefts have occurred at government base yards and construction sites.

Police say they are concerned the general public might be the next target.