Police in Cambridgeshire have advised residents to install security fencing
at their homes to prevent heating oil theft.
The alert comes after figures show a sharp rise in the number of thefts, CambsTimes24 reports.
There were 190 incidents of oil theft last year, up from 87 in 2009. December 2010 recorded 21 thefts, compared to 16 in the same month in 2009.
So far in 2011 there have been 11 thefts, and police say the rise is due to the increase in oil value.
"We believe an increase in the price of the oil has led to more thefts from tanks outside homes and businesses across the county," crime reduction manager Sally Davies was quoted by the newspaper as saying.
She said the range of measures people could take includes putting up security fencing
"People have a range of options to make their tank more secure, from installing alarms to putting up fencing up around the tank. If possible, people should make sure their tanks are secured and in view of their home."
Kent Police have issued a similar warning after several recent burglaries.