Police in Stockbridge are investigating eight oil thefts since the beginning of March.
Offences have taken place in Upper Timsbury, Houghton, Stockbridge, Ragged Appleshaw and Shipton Bellinger between March 3 and March 23.
Sergeant Russ Hodges from Stockbridge police station said: “With the recent increases in the cost of fuel, domestic heating oil is an attractive target for thieves.
“We don’t want you to become a victim of this crime and have provided some advice to help you improve the security of your fuel supplies:
- Consider erecting a metal cage around your tank with a secondary lockable access hatch to the filler cap.
- Position of the tank is important. If it is out of view of your house windows and near a path or road then it is easier for the thief to target.
- Security lights can have a positive effect and deter thieves. It is not always necessary to floodlight the area with high power beams. Low energy dusk to dawn lights positioned close to the tank can provide a deterrent. This type of lighting is inexpensive and effective. Movement detectors which operate security lights can also activate alarms.
- Oil level gauges which are remotely operated are now available which set off an alarm if the oil level in a tank suddenly drops or falls below quarter full.
- Check the oil level in your tank regularly for any spilt fuel, marks on your lock or any suspicious object alien to your garden nearby.
- CCTV can be deployed to watch over your tank and is a deterrent to thieves. There are many systems available and we recommend you purchase the best you can afford ensuring the camera is capable of capturing pictures at night or with the supplementary lighting you already have.
- Tanks can be stored inside outbuildings but there are strict regulations which must be followed and advice could be sought from the fire service.
Anyone with information about the theft of heating oil should contact Stockbridge police station by calling 101.