AS PETROL prices continue to soar, Mid Cheshire police have warned motorists to watch out for fuel thieves.
In some cases, they are even setting their sights on homes belonging to people who use oil to fire their central heating systems.
Detective Chief Inspector Brian Roberts, crime manager for Cheshire Constabulary’s western area, said: “We are receiving more and more reports of thefts of petrol, diesel and oil.
“Typically the liquid is siphoned out but in some cases the culprits have cut fuel pipes to drain the tanks dry.
“Businesses have also fallen foul of the thieves, with lorries and heavy plant machinery targeted most often.
“Scrapyards have also been singled out due to the large number of vehicles they tend to house.”
Most of the thefts occur in rural locations or secluded areas in towns and police are now calling for increased vigilance.
Detective Sergeant Dave Snasdell added: “We will be stepping up patrols in those areas considered to be most at risk and are doing all we can to bring offenders to justice.
“But these thieves are persistent and we need residents and businesses alike to look at steps that can be taken to keep fuel safe.
“Sadly, it would seem rising petrol and diesel prices are here to stay and, as with many other items, the high value makes free fuel an attractive prospect.
“But if residents and business follow the security advice and stay vigilant and police continue to target offenders, we can make life more and more difficult for those who seek to benefit from criminal activity.”