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High Gas Prices Prompt Jump In Rural Fuel Thefts

Sacramento, CA — Authorities say that surging gas prices are causing a rash of thefts in rural California.

Law enforcement agencies say fuel thefts increased 400% from 2003 to 2004 in the Central Valley.

Authorities say this year´s thefts are on track to at least match those reported last year. The problem is not unique to the Central Valley;reports of fuel thefts have also come in from other areas of the state as well.

Officials say that equipment and produce are also being stolen, but not as often as gasoline.

Farmers are being urged to take measures to make fuel thefts more difficult.