GARDAÍ are urging homeowners to take preventative measures to avoid the theft of home heating oil.
Their warning comes after they were contacted by a resident in the area of Muslack, Downings, who reported the theft of a large quantity of home heating oil from their tank.
The theft is believed to have occurred between September 7 and September 13. Anyone in the area who noticed any suspicious activity between those dates is asked to contact gardaí in Milford on (074) 9153060.
Meanwhile, with oil prices quite high at present gardaí are calling on people to take preventative measures to avoid being targeted by criminals. Gardaí advise people to check their oil levels frequently and to arrange smaller but more frequent oil deliveries.
Other measures gardaí recommend is the installation of automatic movement sensor security lighting around the tank, and to plant shrubs or erect fencing to screen tanks from view of the road.
Gardaí are also urging people to install and use lockable gates, erect lockable fencing around your tank, including over the top, and to consider fitting an alarm system which warns if the oil level drops suddenly.
Be vigilant following a delivery and be aware thieves may return to steal replacement oil following an initial theft, gardaí have also advised, as well as noting suspicious vehicle number plates and report them to gardaí.
A garda spokesperson urged for vigilance as the nights grow darker and called on people to check elderly relatives and neighbours.
“Please ensure that your property is well secured at all times. This means securing your house and also your garage. Please do not make the mistake of nipping out and leaving your door unlocked or your windows open as a burglary only takes a couple of minutes. Please ensure that your home is well lit inside and outside. Keep all keys out of view and do not keep large amounts of cash in your home.
“If you have valuables then please invest in a safe and ensure that it is well secured to a wall. Report all suspicious callers or people/vehicles in your area immediately to gardaí and try to provide as much detail as possible in relation to them when making your report.”