Watch out for diesel thieves
June 27, 2012
Car and lorry owners are warned to keep their fuel tanks locked and secure after a rise in the theft of diesel.
Chief Inspector Simon Bowden, commander of Bracknell police, said officers have noticed a rise in thefts of large quantities of fuel, including an incident on Friday, June 8, when around 55,000 litres of diesel was stolen from Sainsbury’s, in Bagshot Road.
However, Ch Insp Bowden said it was likely this incident was carried out by an organised gang, which would have had its own tanker.
Police are linking the incident to similar thefts in Basingstoke and Banbury on the same day but have yet to make any arrests.
Ch Insp Bowden said officers have also seen an increase in the theft of fuel from cars and lorries in the area and said people should take steps to improve their car security.
He said: “We have seen a rise in thefts from lorries parked in industrial areas and people’s cars.
“People have always stolen fuel by siphoning it out of petrol tanks but there seems to be a rise in the number of these thefts.
“We do get the odd petrol theft but it does now tend to be diesel which is stolen, which is clearly linked to the price of fuel now.
“The thieves tend to target old cars which don’t have locking petrol caps.”
He urged car owners with older vehicles to replace the caps with lockable ones and for people to make use of their garages.
He added: “If you’ve got the space, use it.
“A thief can see a car parked in the road; if it’s locked away, there’s far less chance it will get broken into.”
He said that the fuel thefts had contributed to a sharp rise of 35 per cent in thefts from motor vehicles compared to last year.
Chf Insp Bowden said the actual number was very low, but officers were keeping a close eye on the issue to establish why it might be happening.
He also reminded people not to leave any valuable items in their cars.
Anyone with information about fuel thefts can call their neighbourhood team on 101 or on Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.