Officers in Tayside are reminding local farms, commercial premises and rural householders who have heating oil on their premises to be vigiliant following a spate of Kerosene thefts from St Fillans and other rural areas recently.
Operating in secluded areas where oil tanks can be easily approached in darkness or under the cover of trees can make those within the rural communities especially more susceptible to this form of theft.
We are asking members of the public to take the following precautions to avoid becoming victims of such a crime: –
Check the level of fuel in your tank regularly so you are sure none has gone missing and you always know how much fuel you have.
Most tanks can be locked at the inspection cover. Make sure your filler cap is lockable. There are lockable filler caps available that can be retro fitted to oil tanks, failing that most tanks are able to have a simple yet effective padlock fitted by the householder.
Fit a gate valve security shroud, this prevents the gate valve on the supply pipe to the house from being used to empty the tank.
Install security lights that come on when there is movement in the garden.
Consider having a simple alarm system fitted. An inexpensive infra-red model will alert you if there is an intruder on your property and deter a thief.
Be vigilant. If there is a tanker lorry, pickup or van type vehicle in particular or any suspicious vehicle in the area spend a few moments thinking about what they are doing. Listen for the sound of an electric pump coming from the vehicle as this is how thieves siphon fuel from the tank.
If your tank is in a remote area, consider having it moved to a more visible spot. Do not try to conceal it with a fence or panels. This could be illegal and cause a fire hazard.
Consider installing security gates at your property. This will make it harder for thieves to gain access and protect the area where your oil tank is kept.
For further advice or guidance on how to protect yourself against such a crime, please contact your local Crime Prevention Officer or if you wish to report a crime contact Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.