Broxton - Theft of Central Heating Oil

Alert message sent 12/11/2019 11:44:00

Information sent on behalf of Cheshire Constabulary

Last month there were a number of thefts from residential oil tanks in the Broxton area. Please ensure your tank is secure and take steps to keep your fuel safe.

On Monday 28th October a male was caught in the act attempting to steal oil and was arrested by members of the Rural Crime Team.

Oil Tank Security

How heating oil is stolen
In order to steal heating oil, thieves will usually decant, syphon or pump oil from your tank into other containers. Thieves might use this oil themselves, or sell it on. There have even been reports of criminals selling stolen oil back to the victim.
Opportunistic thieves might target tanks that they spot while out and about, whereas more organised criminals use tools such as Google Maps to identify homes with oil tanks in their gardens. Another tactic used by would-be thieves is following oil delivery vehicles in order to identify homes with full tanks.
Data from police forces across England suggests heating oil theft is most prevalent in the first three months of the year when tanks are likely to be full and the days are short. However, thefts occur year-round, so it pays to be vigilant at all times.
Choosing the right heating oil tank
When it comes to security, steel tanks offer a more robust storage solution when compared to plastic tanks. That's because plastic tanks can be easily drilled into in order to syphon off oil. Steel tanks are also heavier, and therefore more difficult to remove from your premises.
Locating your heating oil tank
When you are installing a heating oil tank, you need to find a balance between convenience, aesthetics and security while ensuring you are complying with all applicable regulations — you can find out more about the applicable regulations on the OFTEC.
Installing your heating oil tank above ground outdoors
Most heating oil tanks are stored above ground outdoors. To maximise security in this scenario, you should place your tank as far away from the road as possible. You don't want opportunistic thieves to spot your tank while driving by, nor do you want to facilitate a quick getaway.
Ideally, your heating oil tank should be visible from inside your home. The potential of being spotted is a huge deterrent for thieves. For more tips, see our section on securing your outdoor heating tank below.
Oil tank cages
Probably not suitable for everyone due to the amount of space they take up, but perhaps the best form of security available, an oil tank cage creates an extra physical barrier for thieves. It should fully enclose your tank while leaving enough room for maintenance and deliveries, and be bolted or concreted to the ground. Find out more about the best padlock to use below.
Message sent by
Jon Hurst (Police, PCSO, Chester LPU Rural & Frodsham PCSO)

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