Page last updated at 13:50 GMT, Tuesday, 3 June 2008 14:50 UK

Police warn of heating oil thefts

Heating oil stolen from tanks
Police have advised fuel tank owners to secure their tanks against theft

Police in the Forest of Dean have urged owners of fuel tanks to protect themselves against heating oil theft, following a rise in reported incidents.

Oil thieves have targeted residential and business properties in the area.

A residential property in Upper Redbrook has been targeted twice, with approximately 500 litres (110 gallons) of heating oil stolen.

Crime Reduction Officer Paul Francis said the increase of heating oil prices had increased oil theft crime.

Mr Francis said: "Most of the criminals are using vans with large tanks inside. Emptying a full tank can take a considerable amount of time, which is why some offenders take a little and then return at a later date."

Police have advised fuel tank owners to make their fuel tanks as secure as possible, adding security lighting and locking the filler cap.

Owners and neighbours are urged to report any suspicious behaviour.

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