Police in North Cumbria and the surrounding rural areas are investigating a number of diesel thefts and attempted thefts over the last couple of days.
A police spokesman said they would like to remind property owners to remain vigilant, and report any suspicious activity to police.
The spokesman added: “Diesel and fuel oil can be an attractive proposition for opportunists criminals, resulting in them actively targeting fuel tanks at farms, transport depots, building sites as well as domestic properties.
“These tanks can potential contain many thousands of pounds worth of oil.
“It is important that you take steps to protect your property making it harder and less attractive to target.”
Police have suggested the following measures to secure your oil tank:
- Where possible it is suggested that your fuel tank is secured with fencing or a wall. This can be fitted with a metal grill or cage across the top to further improve security. Consideration should also be given to chemically tagging your fuel.
- Control switches and electricity supplies should be turned off when the tank is not in use.
- Invest in a good quality padlock – Closed shackle padlocks are the best as they offer the most resistance to thieves, having very little of the metal shackle exposed for attack.
- Electronic oil level gauges can be fitted which omit an audible alarm should the level suddenly drop or fall below a set level.
- The Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC) offers further guidance for those who use or store oil at their premises. Its website is www.oftec.org