POLICE have ramped up their presence around Malaga after residents reported a spate of petrol thefts from cars amid soaring prices at the pump.

A spate of thefts from tanks in parked cars were reported around the Maria Zambrano train over the last week.

At least 12 cars had their petrol caps forced open before thieves drained the tanks and made off with the fuel.

A residents’ association in Malaga is urging people to go to the police if they find the fuel caps on their cars have been tampered with.

Francisco Rodriguez, vice president of the association “Vecinos de la Princesa”, told Spanish newspaper Nius: “In that car park there is no vigilance or lighting, that’s why the thieves have more freedom to steal the petrol.”

He explained that many local residents leave their car in the station car park overnight because street parking is hard to find in the area.

Spanish broadcaster La Sexta reported that authorities had listened to the neighbours’ requests and had boosted police patrols in the area.

Prices at the pumps have soared in reaction to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine with prices tipping above €2 per litre in some places in Spain.

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