Traffic officers caught four men siphoning containers of diesel from the fuel tank of a parked truck — while the driver was asleep inside.
The suspects had managed to siphon off about 125 litres by the time officers arrived.
A Toyota Quantum with its number plates removed, used by the suspects to store the fuel, was impounded along with several drums and pipes.
The suspects, aged 26, 28, 31 and 39, were arrested and taken to Parow police station.
“While the ‘fill up and dash’ phenomenon is not new, this type of incident is something else, and was an incredibly opportunistic and dangerous thing to do,” said the city’s mayoral committee member for safety and security, JP Smith.
“Even if the suspects had got away, travelling with large amounts of fuel in makeshift containers would have been very risky.