Police warn against home-heating oil thefts.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

POLICE in Strabane have issued an appeal to householders to be vigilant against home-heating oil thefts over the coming months.

In recent days, the PSNI says it has received a report of a number of males acting suspiciously in Sion Mills overnight believed to be an attempt to steal oil.

Thieves have also stolen a quantity of oil from the tank of an elderly woman in Castlederg.

An appeal has now been made to the public to take any extra measures they can to deter would-be thieves.

Writing on the PSNI's Facebook page, an officer said: "With winter weather upon us, I'm sure most people are filling up their oil tanks to be prepared.

"Unfortunately some unscrupulous thieves don't believe people should have the advantage of the heat they paid for and have stolen oil from the oil tank of an elderly lady in the Castlederg area.

"I would ask that people be vigilant regarding this type of activity over the winter period and if anybody knows who is up to this sort of behaviour let us know." Andy Patton, from Sion Mills Community Forum, has reinforced the PSNI's message.

Speaking on Monday, he said: ''A lot of people have saved their money and bought oil over the summer but now there's criminals skulking out there who will steal it.

"We urge people to remain very vigilant and if they see anything they have to report it straight away.

Mr Patton continued: "I received a call yesterday morning (Sunday) at 3 o'clock from someone who hadn't reported the situation to police but they need to report it immediately.

It's the only way we're going to stop these people." Homeowners can take various measures to help deter thieves such as securing their oil tanks with locks and investing in good quality security lights with motion dectectors.

"It's up to neighbours to be noisy as that's what Neighbourhood Watch schemes are about. If people look out for their neighbours, their neighbours will look out for them.

"People need to pay attention to whats around them and report any suspicious activity.," Mr Patton added.

If people see anyone acting suspiciously they are being asked to call police on the 101 non-emergency number.

Information can also be passed on anonymously to Crimestoppers 0800 555 111.


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