Rural homeowners throughout the Garstang and Longridge area with oil-fired central heating are being reminded about the risk of oil thefts as winter sets in and warned to remain vigilant throughout January and February when the demand for oil may increase.
A rural crimes survey has shown fuel was the third most attractive commodity for thieves targeting rural properties.
This, coupled with more severe cold weather and increasing oil prices likely in the coming months, makes heating oil prone to theft.
A spokesman for Lancashire police 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.”
Homeowners should consider doing the following to ward off thieves:
Fit a lockable cap or padlock to your tank. Install a motion detecting security light;
Buy a fuel gauge alarm. Display a warning message to say that your tank is alarmed;
Install a CCTV camera near your tank;
Look out for suspicious vehicles, especially on the day of your oil delivery.