Victim Tells of Oil Theft Shock

Reported in Oil Installer Summer 2011

A typical victim of the current spate of domestic heating oil theft is Carla Armstrong and her family who live in rural, off grid Cheshire.  Recently, the Armstrongs lost around 700 litres of fuel from their 2000 litre plastic tank – a theft, say Police, which probably took less than ten minutes to perpetrate.

“Our last refuelling was at the end of January when we had 500 litres delivered.  There was already around 300 litres in the tank,” Mrs Armstrong told Oil Installer.

“Several days later, we noticed that the heating had not come on one morning, and , after checking the timer and boiler, we used our highly technical fuel measure – a garden cane! We were shocked to find that all the oil had gone, leaving just sludge at the bottom of the tank.  So we estimate that 700 litres had been taken.”

Mrs Armstrong immediately reported the theft to the Police who sent an officer to investigate.   However, because there were no witnesses and no evidence of tampering or damage, the Police closed the case, although they promised to keep the crime on file as intelligence for any future thefts.

The tank – located close to a rustic wooden fence, separating the garden from a country lane – was also inspected by an insurance company specialist, looking for evidence of leakage.  However, it was agreed that the fuel must have been siphoned out – with the thieves having taken off the unprotected filler cap, and probably using a hose draped over the fence, leading to the back of a vehicle.  The Armstrongs’ insurance claim is currently being processed.

Spinsecure Tank Lock is designed to secure the fill point on steel and plastic tanks. Utilising Spinsecure technology, Tank Lock spins freely when locked in place making it virtually impossible to remove.

Have you or anybody you know been the victim of theft from a fuel tank that was not secured?

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