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Diesel and Heating Oil Theft

Police are warning residents in Aberdeenshire to consider the security of their oil storage tanks after seeing thefts of oil from them in the last week.

Tanks can contain many thousands of pounds worth of oil and it therefore makes good sense to take a few precautions to protect them.

The position of the tank can have a significant effect on how hard a target it is in the eyes of the thief. If the tank is close to the house, with one or more windows capable of giving a view of it, then the thief may consider the chances of being seen as too high. If the tank is close to a road, path, drive or alleyway then it will be a ar more appealing prospect. Tanks do need to be within a reasonable distance of the road otherwise the oil supply company may not be able to refill it for you.

Defensive plants (spikey bushes/plants), fences and walls can also make life difficult for a would-be thief. A wooden or metal fence, trellis or wall can give significant protection to the tank. A metal or grill cage with a lockable access point across the top of this wall or fence can further improve security. The wall or fence should be as close to the tank and as high as possible. Of course a trellis could also be decorated with defensive planting.

Criminals usually come equipped with a limited range of tools to attack your tank so itís worth spending a little more on good quality locks. Close shackle padlocks are the best as they offer most resistance to the most popular of burglar tools; the bolt cropper! Due to their design, close shackle padlocks have very little of the metal hoop (shackle) exposed and bolt croppers cannot get a good grip. Remember that buying a padlock is like buying a car. The more you pay the better the quality and the longer it will last.

Motion-sensor security lighting and CCTV cameras are a good crime prevention and detection tool. Thieves donít want to be seen. Install lighting and CCTV in access locations, vulnerable areas and around the perimeter of houses. Consider audible and monitored intruder alarm systems. With improving technology in this area and a reduction in the cost of CCTV systems, they can be bought for fairly modest sums, allowing you to monitor your home, 24/7 from anywhere in the world.

A recent edition of the North East Crime Reduction Teamís ĎRural Mattersí newsletter contains advice on fuel theft and appropriate security measures.

North East Division Crime Reduction Officer Constable Irvine said:

"Heating oil tanks have the potential to store thousands of pounds worth of fuel, and are often located in remote areas - this can make them an attractive target for thieves. With spiralling oil and gas costs we can expect to see an increase in this type of crime. Being a victim of heating oil theft is a costly, inconvenient and upsetting experience.

"In order to steal heating oil, thieves will usually decant, syphon or pump oil from your tank into other containers. Thieves might use this oil themselves, or sell it on."

A range of really useful crime prevention advice is available on the Police Scotland website at www.scotland.police.uk

Download Police Scotland's Heating Oil Security advice HERE PDF logo

Theft of Diesel near Drumoak

Police are appealing for information in relation to the theft of diesel from three commercial vehicles in the Drumoak area. Approximately 450 litres of diesel was siphoned from three vehicles between Friday 29th September and Monday 2nd October 2023.

If you have any information in relation to this incident you can:

Deter thieves from entering your property by installing and using lockable gates and by maintaining boundaries and perimeter fencing.

Consider fitting a locking cap to your tank.

Check fuel levels regularly.

Where possible install automatic movement sensor security lighting to cover your vehicles and the immediate surrounding area.

Note suspicious vehicle registration numbers and report them to the police through the 101 number.

Be aware that if thieves have already stolen fuel from your tank they may return to steal any replacement fuel you order.

Advice regarding home security can be found at www.scotland.police.uk and www.securedbydesign.com/guidance/crime-prevention-advice/fuel-theft

Theft of heating oil - Stuartfield

Police are asking residents in rural areas to be vigilant following the theft of heating fuel from a rural property near Stuartfield, Peterhead.

Around 6 AM on Wednesday, 27th September 2023, two males described as small and skinny were disturbed near to the fuel tank of the domestic property. They made off from the property but the owner discovered fuel had been stolen from his heating oil tank.

North East Division Crime Reduction Officer Constable Russell said:

"Heating oil tanks have the potential to store thousands of pounds worth of fuel and are often located in remote areas - this can make them an attractive target for thieves. With spiralling oil and gas costs, we expect to see an increase in this type of crime. Being a victim of heating oil theft is a costly, inconvenient and upsetting experience. In order to steal heating oil, thieves will usually decant, syphon or pump oil from your tank into other containers. Thieves might use this oil themselves or sell it on."

If you have any information about this incident you can:

Advice regarding home security can be found at www.scotland.police.uk and www.securedbydesign.com/guidance/crime-prevention-advice/fuel-theft

Fuel Theft - Fettercairn

Police are appealing for witnesses and asking residents in rural rears to be vigilant following the theft of approximately £3000 of heating fuel. The fuel was taken from tanks located within an estate near Fettercairn between 13th and 20th March 2023.

Anyone with information can contact the Police on 101 or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting reference number CR/003909/23.

North East Division Crime Reduction Officer Constable Irvine said:

"Heating oil tanks have the potential to store thousands of pounds worth of fuel, and are often located in remote areas - this can make them an attractive target for thieves. With spiralling oil and gas costs we can expect to see an increase in this type of crime. Being a victim of heating oil theft is a costly, inconvenient and upsetting experience.

"In order to steal heating oil, thieves will usually decant, syphon or pump oil from your tank into other containers. Thieves might use this oil themselves, or sell it on."

Download Police Scotland's Heating Oil Security advice HERE PDF logo

Recent thefts of fuel from rural areas 10th March 2023

At one site just off the A940, south of Forres, up to 1000 litres of heating oil was stolen from a fuel tank. The theft occurred between 9:00 am on 28th February and 9:00 pm on 3rd March 2023.

A further theft took place from a rural site near Deskford, Cullen. Between 4:00 pm on 27th February and 3:00 pm on 28th February 2023, diesel worth £1000 was stolen from a tank along with some tools.

Anyone with information can contact the Police on 101 or via Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting reference 1234 of 07/03/2023 and 1931 of 28/02/2023.

North East Division Crime Reduction Officer Constable Russell said:

"If working in remote areas, ensure all tools and fuel are locked away out of sight in secure storage units. Ensure all doors are of solid construction with suitable locks or a closed shackle padlock fitted. Consider using CCTV or even 4G CCTV cameras to monitor remote sites and be alerted to any intruders. Several devices are now on the market to reduce such crimes, such as anti-siphoning devices and fuel tank alarms. Check tank levels regularly and report any suspicious activity to the Police."

Further security advice can be found HERE

Heating Oil Thefts in Fraserburgh area

Police are asking residents in rural rears to be vigilant following the theft of heating fuel from two properties in the Fraserburgh area during January. Both property owners became aware fuel had been stolen when the heating stopped working in their homes.

North East Division Crime Reduction Officer Constable Urquhart said:

"Heating oil tanks have the potential to store thousands of pounds worth of fuel, and are often located in remote areas - this can make them an attractive target for thieves. With spiralling oil and gas costs we can expect to see an increase in this type of crime. Being a victim of heating oil theft is a costly, inconvenient and upsetting experience.

"In order to steal heating oil, thieves will usually decant, syphon or pump oil from your tank into other containers. Thieves might use this oil themselves, or sell it on."

Advice regarding home security can be found at www.scotland.police.uk


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