A bungling thief who was trying to steal petrol, set several cars – and himself – on fire as he lit up during the alleged crime-spree.

The 26-year-old, who was later found by police with burns on his legs, and had also been engulfed in flames, was charged with arson and illegal interference with a motor vehicle. The incident happened at a car park in Millicent, South Australia.

Fire crews were called and managed to stop the blaze from spreading to nearby buildings. The damage is estimated at £60,884.

Car yard owner Angus McDonald told Channel Ten Eyewitness News: ‘He was trying to get the fuel out of the car by punching a hole in the tank – that’s when the explosion happened.

‘There’s about $110,000 worth of cars that have been lost and there’s a bit of damage to the walls.

‘We were very lucky the workshop didn’t catch on fire because there’s cars just over the other side of the wall.’

Image credit: YouTube