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Mexico concerned by dangerous natural gas thefts

August 21, 2019
FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2019 file photo provided by Mexico's Secretary of National Defense, an armed forces pick-up truck and soldiers loiter around low hanging clouds of natural gas that leaked from a pipeline, just north of Mexico City, Mexico. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is warning on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, against a growing trend in which thieves drill illegal taps into pipelines carrying natural gas. At least two large-scale leaks have occurred in recent weeks at illegally taped pipelines in central Mexico. (SEDENA via AP, File)
FILE - In this Aug. 2, 2019 file photo provided by Mexico's Secretary of National Defense, an armed forces pick-up truck and soldiers loiter around low hanging clouds of natural gas that leaked from a pipeline, just north of Mexico City, Mexico. President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is warning on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, against a growing trend in which thieves drill illegal taps into pipelines carrying natural gas. At least two large-scale leaks have occurred in recent weeks at illegally taped pipelines in central Mexico. (SEDENA via AP, File)

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico’s president is warning against a growing trend in which thieves drill illegal taps into pipelines carrying natural gas.

At least two large-scale leaks have occurred in recent weeks at illegally tapped pipelines in central Mexico.

President Andres Manuel López Obrador said Wednesday that “lately we have been seeing gas thefts, which is something very dangerous.”

His administration has cracked down on the more common crime of stealing gasoline and diesel from fuel pipelines. While gasoline thefts remain far more common, at least some thieves have turned to stealing LP gas, which is used for cooking and water heaters.

That has forced the government to block roads and evacuate areas in order to disperse the gas and repair leaks.

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