Watch out for oil thieves

A FUEL company is warning residents to be on their guard against oil thieves.

In recent months, criminals have been found by police to be using increasingly sophisticated means to target properties, including online technology such as Google Maps.

Opportunist thieves who drive around looking for homes and businesses to target are also a threat.

Now Tim Claxton, Manager of Rix Petroleum’s depot at Rashercap, north of Burgham, has urged residents to take precautions to reduce the possibility of becoming victims.

He said: “Heating oil is a valuable commodity and all too often it is targeted by thieves wanting it for their own use or selling it on the black market, but like most criminals they are opportunists and if you make life difficult for them they are much more likely to abandon their attempt rather than risk getting caught.

“The first thing to ensure is that if you have an oil tank with a lid on it, it is padlocked. It’s also a good idea to check your tank’s gauge on a regular basis. It is difficult to know if oil has gone missing if you don’t know how much is in there in the first place.

“Remote electronic gauges are available which sound an alarm if the level in your tank suddenly drops or falls below a quarter full.”

Other ways to protect an oil tank include fitting security lights or CCTV. To guard against thieves using online spy technology, disguising the tank can help put them off the scent.