GREENE CO, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — As if gas prices weren’t enough to stress about, now there’s a new concern for drivers in one Wabash Valley county, gas thieves.

Across Greene County, there have been an increased number of gas siphoning incidents. Last week, the Bloomfield Police Department announced they had received reports of fuel being taken from cars.

That post can be found below.

In previous years, Sheriff Michael Hasler said stealing gas wasn’t a huge concern. But, as the average price for a gallon of gas exceeds five dollars in Indiana, this crime trend is expected to continue.

“This is a crime of opportunity. If you give them the opportunity they will take it,” Hasler said.

There have been no specific types of vehicles or fuel targeted. Under state law, if caught siphoning gas, offenders face a likely misdemeanor charge.

Law enforcement encourages residents to park their vehicles in well-lit areas and invest in shed and gas caps locks.

Linton resident, Bob Barker, said he’s not surprised by this crime trend. While he’s not been impacted by it personally, he and his neighbors already practice certain safety measures like looking out for one another.

“Anytime prices get like that, theft is going to be on the increase and it’s a concern. I live in kind of an isolated area and so I haven’t seen it. However, I could totally see where it’d be a concern,” Barker said.

Residents are asked to report all incidents to deter more gas thefts. A lack of data makes it harder to locate hot spots and establish a heavier police presence.

“Gas doesn’t have any identification numbers. Once it’s been removed and burnt quickly in someone else’s vehicle, it’s gone. We really have to try and catch the individuals in the act,” Hasler added.

Sheriff John Plasse said gas siphoning has been an issue in Vigo County.