by Ciara Magure
THE onset of the darker and colder evenings has prompted a fresh call for vigilance against home heating thefts.
Householders are being urged to be on the alert following the recent theft of a quantity of oil in Sion Mills.
Sion Mills Community Forum issued the appeal on its social media page after a home in the Lismore area of the village had an amount stolen.
Local community worker Andy Patton said householders need to take precautions to deter would-be thieves.
“The oil had been delivered two weeks ago. Please take precautions to stop the oil thieves.
“Oil tank locks are available through PCSP (Policing and Community Partnership). Our Neighbourhood Watch Scheme will come and fit them for the older or disabled members of our community.
“See it, report it! If you see suspicious activities in your area please phone police. Watch out for your neighbours and keep your area safe for all,” he urged.
Police have also appealed to homeowners to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour.
They are also urging homeowners to take steps in an effort to protect themselves against would-be thieves.
“Police are aware of the impact that burglaries can have on individual householders. By following some sensible crime prevention measures home owners can help reduce their risks of becoming a victim.
"Exterior lights are useful in discouraging the attention of criminals, particularly those involved in burglary and the theft of heating oil as it raises the potential of them being seen in the vicinity of your home by either yourself or a neighbour.
"If you need free crime prevention advice, please call the 101 number and ask to speak to your local Crime Prevention Officer,” a spokesperson said.