FUEL has been stolen from a number of vehicles in South Tyneside.
Police are appealing for information after several incidents where fuel has been stolen from vehicle fuel tanks.
Officers have received seven recent reports of fuel theft which have happened overnight in the East and West Boldon areas.
Offenders have drilled into fuel tanks on vehicles parked in Mill View, Redcar Terrace, Hall Gardens, Beatrice Gardens, Ascot Court and Heaton Gardens.
Enquiries into all the thefts are currently underway and police are keen to hear from any witnesses or anyone with information.
They’re also keen to point out the risks this offence can pose to those unsuspecting members of the public who have been targeted by thieves.
Chief Inspector Sarah Pitt, from South Tyneside Area Command, said: “As well as the inconvenience caused to the owners of these vehicles, there’s also a risk to theirs and other road users’ safety.
“They may be unaware the tank has been drained and still able to drive on the little fuel left in it. However their vehicle could break down at any time on an open road posing a danger to the driver and any other vehicles near it.
“I’d urge anyone who has spotted any suspicious activity around vehicles, particularly people looking underneath them, to report it to police.”
Police are carrying out extra patrols to deter and target opportunist thieves as part of the force-wide campaign Operation Soundwave.
Crime prevention advice can be found on the Northumbria Police website, www.northumbria.police.uk
Anyone with information on the theft or who spots suspicious activity in their area can contact police on 101, extension 69191, or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.