Police in West Essex have warned residents with oil-fired heating to be on their guard against fuel thieves operating in the area.
About £6,000 worth of oil has been stolen from storage tanks in 12 incidents in rural areas near Chelmsford and Brentwood since the beginning of March. Amounts of oil taken have ranged from 200 litres to 1,500 litres which was valued at £1,000.
Officers are now urging all oil fuel users to ensure that their security measures are adequate. They are also urging all residents in rural areas to be on the look-out for any vehicles, particularly vans or any vehicle carrying tubing, plastic or metal tanks or any form of liquid containers.