York fuel thieves 'putting lives at risk'
A spate of petrol and diesel thefts in parts of York has prompted police to warn fuel thieves they are risking their lives and the lives of others.
The warning follows a total of 18 fuel thefts in Huntington, New Earswick, Heworth, Upper Poppleton and Haxby in the past week.
Small holes had been found drilled into the petrol tanks of the cars targeted by thieves, police said.
PC Alex Dobson said the thieves' actions were "extremely dangerous".
"When a power tool is used to drill through metal, heat and sparks are created which could ignite highly flammable fuel, potentially causing serious injury," he said.
Puddles of fuel were also invariably left under or near the victim's car, causing another hazard for car owners or passers-by, he added.
"The thieves responsible for these incidents are not only risking their own lives but those of others," said PC Dobson.
Most of the vehicles targeted in York were French-manufactured, including Peugeots, Citroens and Renaults.
Drivers should take extra care to check their vehicles for lack of fuel, leaks, or the smell of petrol or diesel, police said.