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

Attempted diesel theft near Portsoy

Police are asking farmers in the Portsoy area to be vigilant following the recent attempted theft of fuel overnight.

A male was captured on CCTV breaking into a rural building and thereafter attempting to syphon fuel from a telehandler. Fortunately the property owners had motion activated CCTV which alerted them at the time and they were able to sound the cameras alarm, which scared the thief off before he was able to steal anything.

Sergeant Barnwell from the Banff Community Policing Team said:

"Vehicle fuel tanks should be fitted with locking fuel caps. These can be alarmed if appropriate. Avoid leaving vehicles exposed in fields with full tanks of fuel or filling the tanks last thing at night. Restrict access to where vehicles are parked. Thieves will not carry large quantities of fuel over any distance to their vehicle."

Comprehensive crime prevention advice can be obtained from your local policing team by telephoning 101 or contacting your local Crime Prevention Officer by emailing NorthEastCrimeReduction@Scotland.pnn.police.uk.

Remember: If you can think of a way of defeating your existing security measures, so can a criminal.

Original Message Sent By: Mark Irvine (Police Scotland, Constable, Grampian).

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