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Rural domestic fuel tanks targeted by thieves

Alert message sent 05/04/2022 15:05:00

Information sent on behalf of Bedfordshire Police

As war continues to rage in Ukraine, criminals are cashing in on high oil prices by targeting rural properties and siphoning domestic heating oil tanks.

Police forces across the country have issued warnings and 'ramped up surveillance' after a rise in the number of thefts of heating oil. The rising price of heating oil in the cost of living crisis and the war in Ukraine has made tanks full of oil used to heat homes, predominantly in rural areas, a prize target for thieves.

Security Recommendations -

1. Positioning tanks as close to the house as possible, in view of a window and as far away from the road as possible

2. Planting spikey bushes/plants and using a wooden or metal fence, trellis or wall and a metal or grill cage with a lockable access point across the top

3. Spending money on a decent close shackle padlock which offers the most resistance against criminals’ bolt croppers

4. Installing motion-sensor security lighting, CCTV cameras and audible and monitored intruder alarm systems.

In addition, we are asking local takeaways/businesses to be vigilant against the theft of cooking oil as this is on the rise. Generally the offences have taken place during the daytime and the oil has been taken from outside premises such as pubs and restaurants where they have been left ready for collection by genuine companies.

We have also seen a few reports of offenders going to the premises and claiming to work for a genuine oil collection company. We would urge local businesses to make sure that new and used cooking oil is stored securely, and to report any suspicious activity to police.

Message sent by
Giovanna Traetto-Reynolds (Police, PCSO, OPERATION SENTINEL RURAL TEAM)

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