Benwick, Murrow and Parson Drove among villages targeted by the new wave of heating oil thieves

Police issued an urgent warning today to alert people with tanks of heating oil to be vigilant after a growing number of thefts.

“We believe an increase in the price of the oil has led to more thefts from tanks outside homes and businesses across the county,” said crime reduction manager Sally Davies.

Cambs Police confirmed they are handing leaflets to residents with crime prevention advice following 190 incidents of oil theft in 2010, up from 87 in 2009.

In December there were 21 thefts, compared with 16 in the same month in 2009 and 11 so far in 2011.

Mr Davies said: “We have seen an increase in oil thefts from both homes and businesses across the county.

“People have a range of options to make their tank more secure, from installing alarms to putting up fencing up around the tank. If possible, people should make sure their tanks are secured and in view of their home.”

She added: “Thieves need large containers to transport oil. If you see any vans or vehicles with trailers in suspicious circumstances, call police.”

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Anyone with any information should call police on 0345 456 456 4 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

For advice on how to keep your heating oil safe, visit

*OIL was siphoned from a heating tank in Cricketers Way, Benwick, on December 29. Police believe the offence happened sometime after 9am.

A week earlier thieves had tried to steal oil from a tank in Murrow Bank and in Main Road, Parson Drove, but were unsuccessful.

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