High prices blamed for fuel theft rise

THERE has been an increase in the number of people caught stealing fuel from vehicles in Essex, latest figures have revealed.

James Hore

THERE has been an increase in the number of people caught stealing fuel from vehicles in Essex, latest figures have revealed.

Statistics obtained under the Freedom of Information Act revealed a 19% jump in siphoning cases for the first five months of this year compared to the same period in 2007.

And last night a fuel expert claimed the hike is a direct result of the increasing price at the pumps.


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He warned motorists to be alert to the problem and urged them to put cars in garages where possible.

However, fuel theft from forecourts was actually down from 3,590 incidents in 2006/7 to 2,967 for last year, which police said is due to a greater awareness of the problem and increased security measures at petrol stations.

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During the first five months of this year, 99 incidents were reported, compared to 83 for the same time last year.

The national average price of unleaded for the first quarter of 2007 was 88.1p a litre, while diesel was 92.2p.

In the first quarter of this year the national average price of unleaded and diesel rose to 104.9p and 110.9p respectively.

Brendan McLoughlin, founder of comparison site PetrolPrices.com said: “We're all feeling the pain of rocketing fuel prices, but it seems some people are resorting to increasingly drastic and unscrupulous measures.

“I would urge all motorists to seek out their cheapest fuel to lessen the impact of rising prices, and to keep their car in a garage overnight if possible to avoid becoming a victim of fuel theft.

“The UK's fuel tax system is simply not fit for times like this when oil prices are consistently setting new records.

“The Government need to work out a way to protect motorists and the economy - we need an immediate tax cut. Fuel is already taxed twice, so they could easily look at scrapping VAT.”

Visit petrolprices.com

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