Gwent Police are reminding motorists to remain vigilant with the security of their vehicles after an increase in reported incidents of theft of fuel across the Rhymney area of Caerphilly and the Ebbw Vale area of Blaenau Gwent.
In the last month, Gwent Police has received 10 reports of theft of fuel from vehicles in both areas.
Most of these incidents have been from lorries parked in lay-bys and industrial estates or cars parked along the side of the road. In particular, the A465 Heads of the Valley has been used by criminals to travel and to target HGV’s on or near it.
Inspector Paul Biggs said: "We’ve recently seen a sharp increase in volume of these types of crime. We would like to encourage people to take extra steps and to treat their fuel – whether it be stored in a container in a compound, on their farm or in their cars - as a valuable commodity and take steps to secure it.
"Stolen fuel is not only costly to replace, but the victim may incur additional costs due to missed deliveries and business disruption. It is also extremely dangerous. What is most worrying is lorry drivers sleep in the cabs of some of these vehicles – the consequences of syphoning from a petrol tank during this time could be fatal. We are aware of hot spot areas and will be taking action against those caught stealing fuel.”
Recent thefts include…
5th November 2019 – Theft of diesel from a farm in Deri, Caerphilly (178 - 05/11/19)
6th November 2019 – Theft of diesel from a lorry overnight on Heads of the Valley, Rhymney (466 - 06/11/19)
15th November 2019 – Theft of diesel from a lorry overnight whilst parked on Heads of the Valley, Rhymney (72 - 15/11/19)
Gwent Police give the following advice to people storing fuel….
• For cars: Always ensure you use the fuel locking system provided. For older cars, always use a lockable petrol cap. Use a garage or driveway if you have one or if not, try and park with your fuel filler in line of sight. If this is not possible, park under a light.
• For Heavy Goods Vehicles: Always ensure the tank is locked. If you have to leave your vehicle isolated or parked up for some time, try and leave a minimum of fuel in the vehicle. When parking up overnight and sleeping in your HGV, try and ensure the fuel tank is in view of the road to deter offenders. Also, make sure you park in a well-lit and not secluded area when parking your vehicles. A lot of victims are parking their vehicles in dark laybys or in industrial estates and are therefore making themselves easy targets.
• For those in business who have fuel tanks: Check your locking systems are in good working order. Good quality locks are far better than cheaper versions. Encourage your staff to regularly check tanks. Ensure good lighting is in place.
• For residents with oil tanks for storage of heating oil: Invest in good quality locks and ensure good lighting is in place.
If you have any information that may help us with our enquiries or may have seen anything suspicious in the area around the time of the incidents, please call 101 quoting the reference.
You can also send a direct message to our Gwent Police Facebook or Twitter social media pages if you have any information. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org