Gasoline Theft

UPDATE: Tonight I got my first lead on who the thief might be. The hose used in the crime is very unique and I matched it up with some hose that I found at a local place in my neighborhood. I have developed a theory that I will be investigating over the following few days.

No sooner do I blog on a monster rooming house that just went up across the street, than I have to blog on the theft of gasoline from Hui-chen’s scooter overnight.

The previous occupant of our home told us that migrant workers would try to steal things from our property. I highly doubt that even with the increase in gasoline costs would one of the local Taiwanese people steal from their own neighbors. No, I have to conclude that this is the work of foreign laborers.

This is Hui-chen’s scooter with a piece of stolen air conditioner drain hose beside it. The hose smells like gasoline. She found the gas cap on the ground next to this hose.

As you can see, the gas cap has been broken with some tool, probably a screwdriver.

I checked our car. Sure enough, someone put their fingers (smudge marks) on the locking door to see if it was open.

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  1. Shit. That kind of thing is really common. Now you know: don’t buy that house.

  2. i guess that people do use things like that as a basis to buy or sell a house. too bad because the house itself is great. i prefer to take measures to prevent things like this happening than to move away because of them.

  3. i guess that people do use things like that as a basis to buy or sell a house.

    LOL. Why yes. Things like neighborhood safety are an issue to some.


  4. stealing gas happens everywhere so it’s not even on my “neighborhood safety” radar Michael. if the guy had tried to intrude into our home you’ve find me singing a different song. in this neighborhood, home break-ins are pretty rare and i consider this to be as safe as anywhere else and more so than many neighborhoods. as i said before i would prefer to take preventative measures rather than just resign and leave over it. we are investigating countermeasures, but its too late for this episode.

  5. One way to teach the gas thieves a lesson is to make a honey pot. Although, you have to be careful of blowback.

  6. Hey MJ it happen here in Thailand a bit as well with petrol around 27-32 baht a litre and that’s expensive for thai people especially the young people who don’t work but like riding around on their bikes every night showing off.

    I haven’t had any problems and touch wood will not as we do ahve a good size fence and noisy gate of yuo try and open plus our adopted lane dog is very agressive to stangers.

    I hope they get what they deserve MJ.


  7. as i said before i would prefer to take preventative measures rather than just resign and leave over it.

    I didn’t recommend that you should leave, Michael.

    What’s a honey pot?


  8. MT, i must have misunderstood “now you know: don’t by that house” and “Things like neighborhood safety are an issue to some” to mean that perhaps i should move. we have been looking at lots of houses lately because we aren’t going to stay here permanently.

    Colby, time to tell about the honeypot.

  9. A good story! but I like to read 5 love stories, then one hate story.
    Taiwan has many love stories.

  10. anon, i hope you read your 5 love stories before you read this one. be sure to read about our wedding!

  11. A honey pot is an old hacking term…

    Basically, you set up a trap that is easy to take. The thief takes the bait that backfires on him.

    1. A gas can 1/2 full of gas left outside on your property.

    2. Put sugar in the gas.

    3. Thief takes the gas.

    4. Thief then puts gas into his veichle.

    5. Damage is done to the thief’s vehicle.

    As a warning there is always the potential for blowback (retaliation).

  12. I think you are being really unfair. You don’t know that migrant workers made off with your gas. And even if you can prove it, then shouldn’t you say: “So and so sucked the gas from the gas with this tube” instead of foisting off the blame on the whole lot of migrant workers? I’m not sure what Michael Turton is saying when he says that this

    “kind of thing is really common.”

    I’ve lived here for a decade and I’ve never had a problem with a migrant worker. What’s next? A good ole fasin’ lynching?

  13. its all about probabilities Patrick, and nothing more. yeah i don’t know that migrant foreign workers made off with the gas. i do however know that those workers walk past my property at all hours, in stark contrast to the local people. our neighbors said “it was Thai people” right off. they have all been victimized one way or another too.

    i don’t know if it was Thai people or not. so i wouldn’t go so far as to name the nationality.

    you said that you never had problems with a foreign worker before. but where do you live? We live in Hukou and in the middle of the industrial area. the people who normally walk down our street and past our home every day are not Taiwanese. people who don’t live in industrial areas don’t see these workers. they also don’t see the trouble they get in, and hear about the deportations.

    for example, the guy who cooked the dog meat last week got deported a couple of days later for using drugs.

    yeah Patrick, i guess you could say that i am being “unfair.” it was unfair that someone broke Hui-chen’s gas cap and stole her gas, too. everything is unfair. the previous tenant told us that the foreign workers roam the streets looking for trouble. as far as i can tell that is a correct assesment, from my own eyewitness accounts. i have a hard time convincing myself that a local person (Taiwanese) did this. the amount of gas that one can steal from a scooter is trivial. but if you only make a couple of thousand NT per month, that is easy cigarette money.

    if i find out who did it i will post an update about it.

    thanks for your comments Patrick. i certainly was not expecting this post to generate so many comments!

  14. I wonder if a cover on the bike would help?

    Do they make a locking cover?

  15. Queen is effing cool. Brian May completes PHD in astrophysics:



    I’m not sure what Michael Turton is saying when he says that this

    “kind of thing is really common.”

    Gasoline theft is really common, not migrant workers are thieves.

  16. yeah, Queen is absolutely cool. i thought that Brian had finished his doctorate with a thesis on IR astronomy. oh well, its cool that he is going back for it now. its not like he has to worry about a day gig.

    btw, i did conclusively match up the cut off piece of hose to a water hose (been watching too much CSI) at one of the local places. however the conclusion itself is inconclusive since the boss told me that one of the workers found the hose down near the 7-11 a few days before and thought it would be better served where he worked.

    in the meantime we are going to trash this scooter. we are also actively house hunting for a place with a garage. so i’m going to give this up and just forget it. my viewpoint is that the way we had the scooter parked, we were asking for it anyway.

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