Police have arrested three men on suspicion of fuel theft in the Felliscliffe area of Harrogate.
Police were conducting a routine patrol in the area when at around 11.30pm they came across a Peugeot car parked in a lay-by and stopped to investigate.
The vehicle smelled strongly of diesel and several five-gallon containers were found in a nearby ditch along with some pipes.
The occupant of the car, a 41-year-old man from Leeds, and two 24-year-olds also from Leeds were arrested at the scene on suspicion of going equipped to steal.
All three men were questioned by police and have been released on bail while the investigation continues.
Members of the public can help the police by reporting any suspicious vehicles, people or behaviour. Please call North Yorkshire Police on the non-emergency number 101. Or you can pass information anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. If you see a crime in progress or your safety is threatened, please ring 999.