Petrol theft a shock
Finding out petrol had been stolen out of her car came was quite a shock to Parnell resident Gloria Jenkins.
It wasn't until she was driving on the northern motorway that she realised something was wrong.
She had left home she could smell petrol but she assumed it was because her neighbours had been riding motorbikes along her street.
Just as she was about to go through Victoria Park Tunnel she noticed the smell had lingered.
Then she saw her petrol gauge was extremely low but her tank had been three-quarters full the day before.
Mrs Jenkins was relieved to make it over the harbour bridge and up to a garage on Onewa Rd.
"I think angels were helping me. I was very fortunate that I didn't break down in the tunnel or on the bridge."
Her car was completely empty and needed to be towed back to her house. She had it repaired the following day.
It wasn't until she heard of three other similar incidents occurring on her street on the same night that she started to suspect she had been the victim of a crime.
"I had never heard of this happening so at first I thought there must have been a hole in the tank. It's just not what you would expect."
The experience was a huge hassle and she now wishes she had checked her petrol gauge before starting her journey, she says. Constable Donna Govorko says there was a spate of incidents around Auckland city involving petrol being siphoned from vehicles at the beginning of the month.
It is not always obvious to the car owner what has happened, she says.
The first thing people tend to notice is an unusually low petrol gauge.
Other possible signs include a strong petrol smell around the vehicle and pooling of petrol under the fuel tank. This can represent a safety concern, she says.
"If there is a significant amount of petrol under the car, don't drive it until it's been checked out by a mechanic."
The community can help by reporting suspicious activity to police, Miss Govorko says.
"Be aware of people looking around a vehicle. They will have to get access to either the petrol filler cap or the fuel line which they would need to be under the vehicle to access.
"If you hear something that doesn't sound right please call 111 immediately and provide an accurate location and description of the offenders and vehicle," she says.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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