Medford, Ore. — Local police are dealing with a new crime spree.
Dozens of people have woken up to find their gas tanks were drilled and drained.
The only benefit for these criminals is a free tank of gas.
But for those who own the car, patching the hole can cost upwards of $400 dollars.
“There’s a buffet of cars for them to break into in these apartments,” Medford resident Matt Phillips said.
Drilling holes in vehicle gas tanks seems to be a recent trend for criminals in one Medford neighborhood.
“What they did to me was they cut that pipe,” Phillips said.
While Matt Phillips isn’t a victim of the most recent drillings, he lives right down the road and says the same thing happened to him last year around this time.
“Went to the gas station to fill up… and then when they were filling up it just started leaking gas all over,” Phillips said.
Phillips says vehicle vandalism is more common than people realize around the apartments off Poplar Drive.
“You always hear about somebody’s vehicle getting stolen or broken into. Or a window broke, or their gas gets siphoned or tanks get drilled or cut into,” Phillips said.
In the case of the gas tank drillings, a 20-dollar tank of gas turns into a $400 dollar fix.
Phillips says he thinks it happens since there are so many apartments away from the road.
He’s also noticed criminals target older cars.
“You never hear about a newer vehicle getting any vandalism or getting their gas siphoned or anything. It’s usually always an older vehicle,” Phillips said.
Although he may not be able to do anything to prevent future vandals, Phillips would like to see those responsible held more accountable.
“There needs to be something done to protect people’s property around here,” Phillips said.
Phillips says he plans to move out of his apartment and into a house.
In the meantime, he hopes to see an increase in night-time patrols around his area.