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Thieves Caught Siphoning Gas In Michigan As Prices Continue To Rise

With high gas prices across the state, some might be trying to save gas by carpooling.

That's what two sisters did, parking at a carpool lot in Calhoun County, and instead they ended up being victims of gas siphoning.

"My family has been using this parking lot as a carpool lot for a lot of years, we go to concerts, we meet halfway to go to events and things like that, and we've never had an issue, this definitely caught us off guard," said Morgan Belt, a victim of gas siphoning.

But this time was different.

Morgan Belt says when she returned to Beadle Lake carpool lot in Emmett Township, just after midnight, they noticed the gas cover on the car they left there was open and the gas cap was hanging down.

She says they left the lot immediately and called police.

"We saw there was a man and a woman hiding in a vehicle, just a couple spaces down from where we were parked, and they had gas cans in their car," said Belt.

Officers say they arrested the couple in the car on unrelated warrants. They were taken to jail.

Police say gas thieves have been using small hoses to siphon gas, which allows them to bypass stop valves in newer cars.

"I think it's just a sign of the times, people are so desperate," said Belt. "It was a lesson for us to be a lot more cautious."

Belt says there was little damage to the car and not much gas taken. She believes they caught the thieves in the act.

Police say people are not just siphoning, they say they've also seen thieves puncture gas tanks or cut the filler line to steal gas.

In addition to this, police say there are precautionary steps drivers can take such as purchasing a locking gas cap, parking in a visible well-lit area or by a main road or avoid parking in unmonitored public places like this carpool lot for an extended period of time.

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