Bute householders with oil-fired central heating have been reminded this week about the risk of oil thefts as winter sets in and warned to remain vigilant throughout January and February when demand for oil may increase.
The National Farmers Union’s 2013 rural crimes survey showed that fuel was the third most attractive commodity for thieves targeting rural properties - which, when combined with more cold weather and the possibility of further increases in oil prices, makes heating oil particularly prone to theft.
Malcolm Farrow, from the Oil Firing Technical Association, said: “This is an issue that we can’t stress enough at this time of year as no one wants to run out of oil and risk going cold. If more people are aware and vigilant of oil thefts in rural communities, hopefully there will be fewer victims of this crime.
“Thefts can take place at any time of year as thieves are extremely opportunistic. However, January and February often brings the harshest weather and this, combined with people feeling the pinch after Christmas, can make the early new year a popular time for thieves to strike.”