Norfolk Police has issued a range of crime prevention advice as winter nights draw in.
They say certain types of crime take place at this time of year – including oil thefts, vehicles stolen while motorists defrost their cars, and taking wrapped presents left in view.
Although it’s nice to get into a warm car, is it worth losing it altogetherJim Squires, community engagement officer, South Norfolk
In 2017 alone more than 110 heating oil thefts have been reported in the county.
Community safety superintendent, Jason Broome, said: “An increase in the price of heating oil can result in oil tanks being targeted by thieves and we would urge people to take some simple measures to secure them.
“Just keeping an eye on oil levels in your tank and fitting a good quality locking device is a good start, but we’d also recommend installing security lighting or CCTV cameras.
“We’re also asking communities to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity. If you spot something suspicious at a friend, neighbour or relative’s house, or at a nearby business premises, call police on 101 or dial 999 if a crime is in progress.”
Police also recommend fitting a good quality locking device, and consider perimeter security for the whole tank, such as a metal cage or fencing.
Opportunistic thieves have also been known to have stolen cars when owners have gone out on a winter’s morning and left the engine running to de-ice or warm their vehicle.
Community engagement officer Jim Squires said: “Do not be tempted. Although it’s nice to get into a warm car, is it worth losing it altogether?”
He added: “Please keep presents out of view if in a car whilst shopping or in your property around the tree the best you can. If you are going away, tell a neighbour so they can keep an eye on your property, ask if they can put your bin out while you’re away, consider lights on timer switches to give the appearance that someone is home.”