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Rise in fuel siphoning thefts could have ‘disastrous consequences’

If you needed proof UK fuel prices were getting a bit ridiculous, you need only look at the rise in the amount of illegal fuel siphoning that happens on our shores.

An increasing number of thieves in South East Wales are reportedly using portable drills to gain access to your car’s liquid gold by drilling holes into fuel tanks or the lines that supply the fuel to the car’s engine, thus bypassing a car’s anti-siphoning systems.

Since the start of March, Gwent Police have dealt with 33 separate thefts of petrol and diesel in the areas of Bedwas and Caerphilly, resulting in the need for an alert to be sent out to motorists warning them of the potential dangers.

The consequences of this brand of fuel theft are potentially explosive. Puddles of fuel are invariably left under or near the victim’s car, a potentially deadly scenario for car owners or passers-by.

Local Inspector Gareth Jones explained: “There are three ways petrol and diesel are normally stolen from vehicles’ fuel tanks. It can be siphoned out or fuel lines underneath the tank can be cut. Even more worrying, thieves will drill into tanks to get to the fuel.

“Once they have taken the fuel away you’re still left with a problem because there could be fuel under the car and you could be left with a very dangerous situation. Turning on the ignition or dropping a cigarette stub on to the ground next to the car could have disastrous consequences.”

Local police have also seen a rise in thefts that occur as a result of unsecured petrol caps. “I want to remind residents to always use the fuel locking system provided. For older cars, always use a lockable petrol cap,” Jones added in the alert.

We’re no strangers to petrol theft here at Recombu Cars. Last year, we shot this video, showing the aftermath of a petrol theft on one of our own vehicles, and carried out a social experiment to see how the general public reacts to people who look as if they might be stealing fuel in broad daylight.

Using a jerry can, portable drill and later a hammer drill for dramatic effect, we acted out the incredibly brazen process used by such thieves, yet nobody seemed the slightest bit perturbed.

Although exact figures of reported cases of fuel siphoning have not been released, petrol and diesel are expensive commodities so we recommend motorists always take precautions. Try to park your car under streetlights or in well travelled areas, use locking petrol caps where possible and – if all else fails – camp outside your house on a rocking chair wielding a baseball bat to deter would-be thieves.

Scroll on down to see our petrol theft video for yourselves.

Source: Yahoo Cars  


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