Gasoline theft can be applied to cases when fuel is stolen from a station without payment or when a vehicle driver takes it from a company's vehicle to use the gasoline personally.
Theft from tank
The rate of fuel theft is accelerating as fuel prices climb, tempting more employees to steal fuel. Employees can either siphon fuel from fuel tanks or use special devices making it hard to detect that fuel would gradually be leaving the fuel tank. This employee-related crime is now costing the United States trucking industry $2.1 billion a year.
Vehicle tracking systems are used by some companies to monitor cases of fuel theft and raise effectiveness of fleet usage.
Theft from station
Gasoline theft (sometimes known colloquially as fill and fly, gas and dash and drive-off) is the removal of gasoline from a station without payment. The thief will usually use some form of decoy to prevent nearby witnesses from noticing the lack of payment until they have left the station. Common decoys include pretending to press the wrong buttons after swiping the credit card, or having multiple people get gas at the same time with one paying for another person and the other running off with both cars.
With typical gas thefts costing station owners in the range of $50 per incident, many stores have fought back by installing better video equipment and requiring pre-payment.
Since the oil price increases after 2004, the surge in fuel theft has gone up, which has included license plate thefts (when gasoline is stolen in the case that the vehicle has the original tags, the vehicle tags will ID the registered owner).