Police Sergeant 78 Darren Moore of the Carmarthenshire Neighbourhood Development Team said “When temperatures drop we notice an increase in theft of heating oil."
"Thieves at this time of year are actively targeting fuel tank."
The thief may be using the oil for their own central heating or selling it on at a handsome profit.
These tanks can contain many hundreds of pounds worth of oil and it is therefore it makes good sense to take a few precautions to protect them. It is our intention to give members of the public ideas to make life more difficult for the criminals actively involved in heating oil thefts.
The following will provide guidance on security measures for heating oil crime.
Where can we put it?
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 too high. If the tank is close to a road, path, driveor alleyway then it will be a far easier target. Hiding the tank behind the garage, shed or some other
type of outbuilding is fairly commonplace, but it does give the thief the advantage. Not many oiltanks are works of art so who wants a tank in full view? While it may not be desirable, or legal, to have the tank close to the house some sort of compromise location would be sensible. Of course this
will not only be a major consideration when a new tank is to be installed but may be necessary if the
tank has been targeted before!
A Switch In Time
Control switches that control the flow of oil should be turned off and the electricity supply isolated when the tank is not in use.
Locks Stock and Barrel
A good thief will come equipped with a limited range of tools to attack your tank so it’s 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
This is natures way of helping to reduce crime. Thieves will not wish to force their way through or over a prickly hedge. The smallest trace of blood or shred of ripped clothing could help the police identify the offender.
Fence Me in
Following on from the defensive planting tactic, fences and walls can also make life difficult for the thief. A wooden or metal fence, trellis or wall can give significant protection to the tank but it must be remembered that the oil tanker driver will need access to fill the tank! A metal grill or cage with a lockable access point across the top of this wall or fence can further improve security. Following on from the defensive planting tactic, fences and walls can also make life difficult for the thief. A wooden or metal fence, trellis or wall can give significant protection to the tank but it must be remembered that the oil tanker driver will need access to fill the tank! A metal grill or cage with a lockable access point across the top of this wall or fence can further improve security.
grip. Remember that buying a padlock is like buying a car the more you pay the better the quality
you get and the longer it will last.
Remote electronic oil level gauges are now available which will set off an audible alarm if the oil level in the tank suddenly drops or falls below a quarter full. These gauges can be located in the kitchen or perhaps a utility room to warn of any potential problem.
Security lights can have a very positive effect and make any property a much harder target for the thief. It’s not always necessary to floodlight the area with high power beams, as a more subtle level of lighting may be all that is needed. Low energy “dusk til’ dawn lights positioned close to the tank should, in most cases, provide sufficient light to illuminate any suspicious activity.