Fort Lauderdale’s Jennifer Barr gassed up Tuesday before evacuating to escape Hurricane Irma. She got up Wednesday to find she lost most of what was in her tank.
Barr found herself victimized by overnight gas-siphoning. Judging from human nature, history and social media, this could become a signature crime on either side of Hurricane Irma.
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“I guess they don’t want to wait in long lines,” she said. “It’s a great opportunity to steal. And the hurricane hasn’t even hit yet.”
Tuesday night, Barr waited over an hour at a station, then filled up until the pump shut off. She thought she had a full tank, but found she had only three-fourths of a tank. Figuring the gas station might have been rationing, Barr went on about her business, packing her car to take her 9-year-old daughter and cat to Macon, Georgia. They’d continue on Thursday to visit her parents in Tennessee while her husband handled their Fort Lauderdale house.
When Barr started her car Wednesday morning, the dashboard gauges told her she had enough gas for 92 miles of driving — about a quarter of a tank.
“I didn’t go to bed until 1:30 a.m. after packing the car, so it must have happened between 2 p.m. and 8 a.m.,” Barr said. “It does make me wonder if they were watching me pack the car.”
She said petty crime is common in her neighborhood near downtown Fort Lauderdale and, “it’s my understanding this is a common crime in advance of a hurricane.”
Barr’s gas fortunes improved Wednesday.
“I was able to get gas at the turnpike service plaza in Pompano,” Barr said. “There was a long line, but it took only 15 minutes. When we passed the Lake Worth service plaza, the line was crazy long.
“Now, we’re 305 miles to empty.”