Heating oil has been making the headlines a lot in the last seven months, as the price soared and more people reported thefts from their tanks. There is no doubt that the price increases are newsworthy, but what about the thefts?
Well, it turns out that incidences of oil price thefts increased only 4% between 2009 and 2010. The study, based on research commissioned by storage tank specialist TankDepot.co.uk and using freedom-of-information requests to all UK police forces, revealed 2407 incidents during 2010. Whilst this sounds a lot, and a 4% increase is heading in the wrong direction, it does not indicate a particular long-term trend. Furthermore, one significant finding of the study was that the region reporting most thefts (Devon and Cornwall) actually had a lot fewer theft reports in 2010.
So, you probably aren't more likely than before to find your oil tank unexpectedly empty. Do pay regular attention to your tank's oil level, though, and report any suspicious lorry/van activity that you see in your neighbourhood. Some criminals will damage the tank or supply line, which will cause leakage, so sudden drops in oil level need to be noticed and acted on quickly.
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