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Home oil thefts warning

Posted on January 10 2011 at 12:23:38

Police are warning villagers with oil-fired heating to be on their guard after a raid on a tank at a home in Beoley.

Owners of storage tanks are being advised to review their security after heating oil worth around £325 was stolen from a tank outside a property in Brockhill Lane, Beoley, between Tuesday, January 4, and Sunday, January 9, when the theft was discovered.

It is believed the oil was siphoned off from a field adjoining the property.

It is the latest of several incidents across North Worcestershire and there are concerns that oil and other fuels may be targeted by thieves following a combination of duty increases and a reported 70 per cent rise since last September in the cost of oil and liquefied petroleum.

The theft of 700 litres of kerosene heating oil from an oil tank at Broome, Stourbridge, was reported on December 18 and around £1,000 of red diesel was taken from Bewdley Pines golf club, Habberley Road, at about 7.30pm on Tuesday, January 4.

Inspector Julian Smith of West Mercia Police said: “The price of heating oil has rocketed in recent months and that could make it more attractive to thieves. As many of the properties that use this type of fuel tend to be in isolated or rural areas where there are no gas mains it does make these tanks more vulnerable. We would urge owners to be vigilant and to report any suspicious activity around their or neighbouring properties as well as reviewing the security of their storage tanks.

Crime Risk Manager PC Stan Baker said: “Perimeter security is an important consideration for householders who have fuel storage tanks and we would also recommend the installation of security lighting and fitting an alarm which indicates if the oil level has suddenly dropped. Fuel locking caps are also available and if the tank is in an outbuilding owners should ensure it is locked at all times.”

Witnesses or anyone with information about the latest thefts should call police on 0300 333 3000, quoting the reference 107-N-09011, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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