Published: Mar 09, 2011 12:35 AM EST
Updated: Mar 08, 2011 9:36 PM EST

CHARLOTTE COUNTY- As the price of fuel goes up in the area, so do the chances that thieves will target it.

One local business had all the fuel stolen out of their truck, now deputies are asking citizens to be aware that thieves may soon be targeting your gas.

Monday morning the employees at J-A lynch landscaping in Port Charlotte discovered that over the weekend, someone had taken all of the fuel out of their delivery truck.

"When he pulled out the yard the tank was empty, it was missing 100 gallons of diesel" Alicia Lynch Morris said, whose father runs the business.

She says that her whole family works for the business and that they cannot afford to be hit by these thieves.

"Its hard, we all work for dad, dads a good man hes a hard working man then we got people that gotta come and take from him," she said.

Charlotte County Sheriff's Office spokesman, Bob Carpenter, says that residents need to take this as a warning sign: "When the price of fuel soars, thefts also go along with that," he said on Tuesday.

Carpenter says that the last time that fuel approached $4 a gallon in Southwest Florida, law enforcement started to see more and more incidents of fuel theft in the area.

"It's cyclic, every time they go up, our crime rate for fuel goes up diesel and gasoline," Carpeter said.

He also warns that agricultural centers and large boats become targets for thieves when the gas prices go up.

"Those were hit the last time- just kind of predicting ahead what may happen here," Carpenter said.

Officers also say that one of the best things that you can do to protect yourself is to buy a locking gas cap for your car.

They also warn that as the price of fuel goes up so do the chances that thieves will be targeting your fuel