Hot on the trail of thieves

THIEVES stole £250 of heating oil from an Embleton property, as domestic fuel thefts continue to plague north Northumberland.

Police are appealing for information after the liquid was taken from a tank at Dene View Cottages between February 1 and February 26.

Since the turn of the year, the county has been hit with a string of raids, with thousands of pounds of oil being swiped and extra police patrols have been deployed in rural parts of north Northumberland to try to combat the sharp rise in thefts.

The price of domestic heating oil rose by 70 per cent in recent months and a survey last year showed that domestic fuel was sixth on the list of top 10 items most commonly stolen from the countryside.

Police have urged people to make external oil and fuel tanks secure and asked householders to monitor how many litres of fuel they get delivered, and when and how much they are using so they can report any thefts immediately.

Other advice includes fitting a locking device around the container lid and tap and fitting the tank with an alarm.

Alnwick Neighbourhood police Inspector Sue Peart has also called on people to report any unusual behaviour or activity to the police.

“We are convinced that these people (oil thieves) are recceing places during the day and then coming back at night.

“If anyone sees a strange or different vehicle, get the registration number and get in touch with us.”

Anyone with information about the theft at Embleton or to report any unusual behaviour, should call police on 03456 043043.

Free crime prevention advice and products are also available. Email alnwick.npt@northumbria.pnn.police.uk for more information.