Halton householders on oil fired central heating warned to watch out for thieves

Runcorn and Widnes World: Oil thefts are rising Oil thefts are rising

HALTON residents using oil-fired central heating are being reminded about the risk of oil thefts as winter sets in.

A Rural Crimes survey has revealed that fuel was the third most attractive commodity for thieves targeting rural properties Householders are warned to remain vigilant throughout January and February when the demand for oil may increase.

This, coupled with more severe cold weather and increasing oil prices likely in the coming months, makes heating oil prone to theft.

Malcolm Farrow, from OFTEC, the Oil Firing Technical Association, said: “This is an issue that we can’t stress enough at this time of year as no one wants to run out of oil and risk going cold. If more people are aware and vigilant of oil thefts in rural communities, hopefully there will be fewer victims of this crime.

“Thefts can take place at any time of year as thieves are extremely opportunistic. However, January and February often brings the harshest weather."

A Cheshire Constabulary spokesperson said: “Heating oil theft is a reoccurring problem in the county which we are continually working hard to combat. By being aware and taking simple precautions to protect your tank you can significantly reduce the risk. No one wants to be a victim of crime, so it really is beneficial to be proactive and take measures to deter thieves from your property.”

Householders are advised to fit a lockable cap or padlock to their tank, onstall a motion detecting security light, buy a fuel gauge alarm, display a warning message to say that your tank is alarmed, and install a CCTV camera.

Residents are warned to ook out for suspicious vehicles, especially on the day of your oil delivery.

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