'Brazen' fuel thieves siphoning petrol from underneath cars

"Brazen" fuel thieves are accused of stealing petrol from multiple vehicles across the Auckland suburb of Mt Albert.

But instead of accessing the fuel through the petrol cap, the criminals are going underneath cars, disconnecting the fuel filler pipe, attaching a hose then draining the tank.

Newshub spoke to one of the victims, Andre Hawke, who says they took "every drop" of his fuel.

"It started when my wife noticed a piece of garden hose hanging out from underneath the vehicle," he said.

"Then she noticed that the fuel light was on, which was odd because she had just fueled up recently.

"And one thing led to another and I had a look underneath the back of the car and sure enough you could see the fuel filler pipe had been disconnected and clearly that's how they'd accessed the fuel and syphoned it out."

He says that the thief made off with about $50-$60 worth of fuel.

"It's outrageously brazen if you ask me," he says.

"It's not like a 30-second smash-and-grab where you're in and out. Someone's actual crawled under the vehicle with a screwdriver, disconnected a hose, siphoned fuel.

"It's probably a five-minute job. It's clearly not their first rodeo. They know what they're doing and if I wasn't so outraged, I might actually be semi-impressed."

And Hawke isn't the only victim. After he posted about the theft to a local community Facebook page, multiple people came forward to say they'd had fuel siphoned off the same way.

Karan Gulati had a full tank of petrol in his Nissan Tiida - but when he arrived home on the same day the car was empty. When he went to fill up at the petrol station, the problem became clear.

"I was trying to fill the petrol in, but when the petrol was going in, it was coming straight out of the bottom," he told Newshub.

When he checked underneath his car, he discovered someone had disconnected the fuel filler pipe and siphoned out the fuel, taking about $60 worth of petrol.

Mechanics say removing the fuel filler pipe takes less than two minutes and the fuel could be transported in anything from a coke or juice bottle to a fuel can.

Police told Newshub anecdotally they aren't aware of an increase in these thefts in Auckland.