West Cumbria Police warn public after fuel tanks being drilled for fuel theft

Police are appealing for ‘information and vigilance’ after an increase of vehicle fuel tanks being drilled for fuel in west Cumbria, over the last month.

The offender(s) are making one or more holes in the petrol tanks and draining the contents into a container before making off.

Inspector Ashley Bennett of Cumbria Police said:

“We’ve been utilising a significant number of police resources in order to catch these individuals, and will continue to do so, however we also need the public’s help.

“My appeal is to anyone who witnesses suspicious activity around vehicles, mostly during the late evening and during the night, to please call police via 999 immediately. Your call could prove pivotal. The offenders have to get underneath the vehicles to access the fuel tanks, and are using a drill or a screwdriver to make the holes, before syphoning off the contents into a container.

“There are also obvious safety concerns, the use of power tools can generate heat and produce sparks, creating the potential for a fire or even an explosion. The next morning there is also the secondary risk for fire when the engine of the car is started, and thirdly there is an environmental factor in the spilling of the fuel. So if you see someone tampering with a vehicle in this way, please call us.”

If you have information about these crimes, or know who may be responsible, please contact Cumbria Police on the non-emergency number 101. If you do not wish to speak to the police you can call Crimestoppers and leave information anonymously by calling 0800 555111.