The number of incidents of theft of fuel from vehicles has doubled since the beginning of the year, it’s been revealed.
And the worst area for offences is Greater London where incidents have rocketed 500%, figures from the RAC showed.
Only Wales and Scotland have seen less than a 50% rise in instances in 2008, as motorists struggle to cope with record-high prices at the pumps.
RAC patrolman Prakesh Patel said: ‘These figures are clearly symptomatic of the desperation motorists are feeling amid rising fuel costs. The actual numbers of fuel theft breakdowns may still be relatively small, but it’s alarming that we’ve seen such dramatic increases reported since the beginning of the year.
‘Until the government acts in the interest of motorists and reduces, and not just freezes, taxes, I fear we are at the beginning of a worrying trend.’
He went on: ‘Victims don’t just have to fork out for replacement fuel – there is also evidence that running cars with insufficient fuel can cause additional damage. Fuel pumps can become overheated or moisture can get into the tank which can make it rust.
‘We are urging drivers to be more vigilant to both protect their own fuel stock and also report anyone who is trying to make money by selling on stolen petrol.’
These are the increases in fuel theft incidents region by region this year:
Greater London 500%
South-west England 218%
West Midlands 100%
North-west England 100%
East Midlands 85%
South-east England 57%
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