Thieves are drilling holes into petrol tanks to drain fuel from cars in a Staffordshire village.
There have been five cases of fuel theft in Grange Road, Penkridge, since the start of the year. It is also claimed there have been three cases in nearby Wheaton Aston.
Penkridge Parish Councillors last night issued a warning for drivers.
Councillor Sandra Chambers said there had been concern about the thefts, a “type of crime not experienced in Penkridge before”.
The spate of fuel thefts came to light in an update from Staffordshire Police.
Councillor Bevan Craddock said he had spoken to police who were now patrolling the Grange Road area.
He said he had been told there had also been three cases in Wheaton Aston.
He said: “In the last six months there was one in Codsall and West Midlands Police reported it is not a serious problem for them, so it does seem to be fairly local. It is potentially very dangerous.”
He said a victim of this crime had unknowingly refilled the tank and petrol spilled onto the garage forecourt – a potential fire risk.