CHESTERFIELD, Va. (WRIC) — As gas prices continue to soar, some people in Central Virginia are warning of thieves.

Natalie Arsenault of Chesterfield told 8News that someone used tools to tamper with her gas tank and steal her fuel. She shared photos of her gas tank door, showing the scratches left behind.

When someone takes gas from the tank, it’s called siphoning. However, a local mechanic is warning of a new way thieves are drilling into the tank, literally.

“All it requires is a drill and something to put the fluid in,” Aaron Fleming with 804 Auto Repair said. “Drilling of a tank wouldn’t even be loud.”

Law enforcement agencies across the country have been sounding the alarm about thieves using power tools to poke holes in gas tanks and get away with the fuel.

Fleming said with catalytic converter thefts on the rise, he wouldn’t be surprised if this trend hit Central Virginia.

“Anybody can be a target and it could happen anywhere,” he added.

Fleming explained that the process takes less than five minutes. A thief would puncture a hole in the tank and all of the gas would drain out from there.

He says thieves are more likely to target plastic gas tanks, often found in newer vehicles. And to make matters worse, repairs aren’t cheap.

“You would have to buy a new tank and it gets pricey. Anywhere from a few hundred dollars to thousands of dollars,” he said.

So, how would you know if you’ve been targeted? Fleming says you’d likely smell it first. If you do, check the ground surrounding your car for gas before driving off.

Also, be sure to report it to police.

At the time of this article, police had not confirmed this type of theft in the Richmond area.