May 20, 2022

Botu Linum

The Car & Automotive Devotees

Gas theft: Natomas couple had thieves drill hole through tank

3 min read

A Natomas couple found their truck’s gas tank drained of fuel after filling it just the night before. They’re sharing their story so others can be on guard.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A Natomas couple wants people to be on alert, after they said thieves drilled a hole into their truck and their neighbor’s truck, stole gas and left a mess.

On Saturday morning, Jake and April Timoteo were about to bring their five-year-old son to a birthday party when they found their new Ford F-150’s gas tank nearly empty. They’d filled it just the night before.

After driving to a nearby gas station and trying to refuel, gasoline started pouring from a newly drilled hole in the gas tank, which is when they learned the scope of the problem.

RELATED: 2 busted in suspected gas theft in Lincoln

“This is basically what they left over,” said Jake Timoteo, gesturing to the stain of a large pool of oil on the street outside their home. “They took $20 worth of gas and, you know, they let the gas spill all over the street.”

It happened in their neighborhood of Natomas Field by Beazer Homes. That’s off East Commerce Way near Arena Boulevard in Natomas.

The Timoteos say the thieves did the same thing to their neighbor, who also drives a Ford F-150.

“I think they are targeting trucks more,” April Timoteo said.

“The bigger pickup trucks, they have easy access to drill those gas tanks because it’s visible,” Jake Timoteo said.

The couple has reported the theft to law enforcement. Sadly, they’re a part of growing trend, as gas prices and inflation are high.

RELATED: Sacramento State community is the latest victim of catalytic converter thefts

“Thieves are getting very, very desperate, and what gasoline is turning into is basically like liquid gold,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis for GasBuddy

Experts recommend doing what you can to avoid this kind of theft, including parking indoors or parking in a well-lit area.

“It’s really affected our family, just to come out with that money for the repairs and the damages,” Jake Timoteo said.

The family had bought the 2021 Ford F-150 just earlier this year and used it for their new bakery business, making deliveries and bringing in supplies. They said insurance will cover some of the estimated $2,400 it will take to replace the gas tank – but they wish they weren’t in this position at all.

RELATED: 2 Florida men accused of fuel pump tampering, stealing fuel arrested

“You know, it’s still not fair for the people who work their ass off just to provide for their family,” April Timoteo said. “I hope they stop doing it.”

“We as a community, we’re better than this. You know, Sacramento is strong,” Jake Timoteo said. “Don’t let $20 gas get you to do things that you will regret in the long run.”

The couple said their Ring camera did not pick up the activity all the way out on the street. They plan on bringing security concerns to the next homeowners association meeting, though they added that they’ve lived there for three years and had never had issues before this month. Less than two weeks ago, two men were shot and killed just a few blocks away from where the Timoteos live.

RELATED: ‘DJ Gio’ among 2 men killed in Natomas shooting

Suspected gas pump scheme caught on camera could see customers paying for someone else’s gas