Petrol siphoning distresses driver
Finding out petrol had been stolen from her car’s fuel tank came was quite a shock to Gloria Jenkins.
It wasn’t until she was driving on the Northern Motorway that she realised something was wrong.
When left home she could smell petrol but she assumed it was because her neighbours had been riding motorbikes along her street.
But 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 the same night on her central Auckland street 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.’’
She says the experience was a huge hassle and she now wishes she had checked her petrol gauge before starting her journey.
Constable Donna Govorko says police are looking into a spate of petrol siphoning incidents around Auckland city earlier in the month.
It is not always obvious to the car owner what has happened, she says.
Incidents have been reported in Grey Lynn and St Mary’s Bay, as well as Mt Eden, Parnell and Orakei.
‘Those are the ones we know about. It’s one of those things people often won’t report to police,’’ Miss Govorko says.
The first thing victims tend to notice is an unusually low petrol gauge, she says.
Other possible signs include a strong petrol smell around the vehicle and pooling of petrol under the fuel tank.
This can be 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.
‘‘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.’’