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After becoming victim of gas theft, Detroit-based charity struggles to make deliveries

Gas worth $70 stolen from vehicle's fuel tank
Posted at 6:29 PM, Apr 18, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-18 18:29:52-04

DETROIT (WXYZ) — With fuel prices still high across Michigan, incidents of gas thefts are being reported more frequently.

Just last week in Lincoln Park, a series of cars were found with their gas tanks punctured at a grocery store's parking lot.

7 Action News spoke to Detroit-based nonprofit Michigan Mutual Aid Coalition after their van became a victim of the crime.

The president of the organization, Emily Reardon, says their only van is usually parked outside Saint Peter's Episcopal Church in Corktown.

"The van is essential for our operations," Reardon said.

The organization feeds over 150 people but on April 7, their operations were impacted in a major way.

"We had our gas tank punctured and the gas was leaked from it," Reardon said.

She had filled up the van with $70 worth of gas the night before.

According to Reardon, the thieves jammed a pen in the fuel tank and drained all the gas.

Khalid Jadallah from Downtown Mobil Services says it's going to cost Reardon around $900 but with part shortage, repairs may take some time.

To make matters worse, Khalid has received three vehicles with similar complaints in the last three weeks.

As for prevention, Khalid says there is nothing folks can do besides park their cars in a safe area.

Meanwhile, Reardon has chosen not to report the crime because she believes these are hard times and would rather create awareness.

"If someone comes to me, I'm going to do everything to help them. I rather they come to me for help rather than maliciously steal it," Reardon said.

Reardon says that she and her team of 30 volunteers will try their best to make deliveries using their personal cars and if people want to help donate money, they can do so by using Venmo @MI-MAC.