Thieves targeting domestic fuel tanks during the Arctic weather

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

Police-car-lights Thieves have stolen oil from domestic fuel tanks at three homes in west Kent during the freezing weather conditions of recent.

Police said the fuel tanks in the gardens of homes in Bedgebury Road, Goudhurst, Shacklands Road, Shoreham and Bower Lane, Eynsford, have been targeted during the last two weeks.

Crime reduction officer Eric Baldock said: “At this cold time of year no-one with oil fired central heating wants to find their tank empty.

“Oil is a valuable commodity so it might be prudent to give some thought to security. You might want to consider defensive planting of a few well-chosen plants and shrubs and putting a lockable cage around the tank.

“Alternatively, other measures that will deter thieves are installing a valve security lock or an audible alarm which triggers when the level within the tank drops faster than it would under normal conditions.

“There is a cost attached to these but it will be relatively small compared to the cost of refilling the tank.

“Advice is available from your neighborhood officer and there are a number of websites with relevant information.”

He added that the thefts are usually from tanks in rural locations and urged people to report anything suspicious please report it to police.

But this theft may also not just be due to get heating oil. We must not forget that heating oil is, basically, diesel and the thefts from home heating tanks and those from farms could be, more or less, linked.

Regardless of the fact that heating oil, like agri-diesel, has a dye in it to make it distinguishable from ordinary diesel by revenue officers, as heating oil and red diesel do not have the same taxes attached to it.

Those thefts of heating oil and red diesel may have much more to do with the fact that the costs of gasoline and diesel have reached new heights in Britain and this is but another pointer towards the fact that cheap oil may soon be a thing of the past.

This is, obviously, cold comfort to those that have lost their heating source in having had their oil stolen but this is something that we may have to consider and things like this will become worse, of this we can be sure, in the next months and years.

© 2010