Home heating oil thefts advice

POLICE in Moyle are appealing for information following a number of reports of the theft of home heating oil in the following areas of Ballycastle - Whitehall Park area, The Leyland Farm area, Blackpark Road area and Bellisk Drive area of Cushendall.

These reports were received by Police between 7 January and 12 January, however it is not known exactly when the heating oil has been stolen apart from the theft in Blackpark Road - this theft occurred overnight between Friday, 11 January and the morning of Saturday, 12 January.

As we are now in the winter months and with the price of crude oil remaining high, fuel oil tanks can be rich and easy pickings for thieves. Farms, transport depots, domestic properties and holiday homes can all be targets, however by taking a few simple precautions, you can help protect your oil.

Police would offer the following advice to those wishing to lessen their chances of falling victim -

LOCK YOUR GATES. The simple act of keeping your garden or drive gates closed and securely locked can prevent a theft. Ensure that all gates and fences are in good repair.

CREATE OBSTACLES. Plant pots and general garden paraphernalia can be placed in the path of any potential intruders. They will make noise and waste time moving the items or navigating around them. Remove and secure any tools or ladders which could be used as an aide to commit crime.

LIMIT THE QUANTITY OF FUEL IN YOUR TANK. Full tanks are a more popular target, so consider limiting the amount of oil that you have in your tank at any one time.

LOCK YOUR TANK. Use a good quality, alarmed padlock or install lockable caps with crop proof fittings. Where possible fit hardened flexible casings to any vulnerable fuel hoses so that they are harder to cut.

CONSIDER INSTALLING SECURITY LIGHTING AND CCTV. Lights don’t only warn you of an intruder but also alert neighbours and passing police patrols.

Thieves operate at different times of the day. To hold the oil they have stolen, they need a large vehicle. We would ask anyone to report any suspicious vehicles around your area to police.

Further crime prevention advice is available from your local Neighbourhood Policing Teams or from the Crime Prevention officer by calling 0845 600 8000.