Police warning as thieves syphon diesel from vans

PUBLISHED: 11:00 28 January 2011

Weston Hospicecare maintenance assistant, Colin Grubham.

Weston Hospicecare maintenance assistant, Colin Grubham.

Weston Hospicecare

FUEL thieves have targeted a well-known Weston charity by syphoning diesel from its vans.

Weston Hospicecare is the latest victim of fuel thefts across North Somerset, which left staff ‘disappointed and distressed’.

The incident happened between the evening of January 18 and the morning of January 19 last week, when employees at the Bridgwater Court warehouse on the Oldmixon estate spotted the broken fuel caps on two of their delivery vans.

Head of trading, Peter Boyer, said: “A lot of damage has been done to the vans which will cost about £250 – this is on top of the cost of the diesel that was taken which was about £50. Had they been full it could have been a lot more.

“They used some sort of syphoning device and damaged the fuel caps.

“The people who did this were fully aware that they were taking from a charity as our logo is on the side of the van.

“Our staff were very disappointed and distressed after finding out that someone had stolen from a charity that helps so many local people.”

The organisation, which provides free care to people living in Weston and the surrounding areas with a life-limiting illness, uses the warehouse as a headquarters for stocking up and delivering items to various shops across the region.

Also this month a farm in Wick St Lawrence was targeted when half a tank of red diesel was stolen.

Although police say it is not widespread across Weston they are urging people to keep an eye out.

A police spokesman said the rising cost of petrol could be a contributing factor to the thefts as some petrol stations in nearby towns, such as Nailsea and Clevedon, have been victims of fuel bilking.

A police spokesman said: “Typically, if someone is going to steal fuel from a vehicle they will target vehicles with large tanks and therefore this type of crime is often committed on commercial vehicles.

“The advice that we give to commercial businesses is to ensure they have good lighting and CCTV at the premises and where possible to ensure vehicles are kept locked within a secure premises.”

Police are appealing for witnesses. Call 0845 4567000.

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