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25th April 2012

BRIDPORT: Fuel thieves strike again

Bradfords lose 900 litres of diesel

By Paul Crompton

HUNDREDS of litres of diesel were stolen when thieves struck at a Bridport business – for the second time.

Brazen thieves drove their van into the yard of Bradfords Building Supplies and stole 900 litres of fuel in the early hours of Saturday.

The diesel – worth around £1,314 - was stolen from a fuel tank at the business on Sea Road South on April 21st.

The theft was discovered by workers who called the police at 10:53am 

It was the second time the business had been targeted in just a few months. 

The previous time thieves filled jerry cans and carried the fuel to their van parked nearby.

This time the criminals forced their way through a gate and damaged a truck parked in front of the fuel tank before making off with the diesel.

Bradfords’ commercial manager, Brian Robinson, is now warning other businesses to beef up security to prevent a similar theft.

He said: “The thieves forced the gate open and forced the tank open which is on the premises. 

“They then damaged a lorry parked there to get to it.

“We parked the lorry in front of the tank and put a metal shroud over it after the last time. We’ve also got CCTV but they by-passed that.

“They drove the vehicle next to the tank and must have filled up the cans. 

“It’s a shame they didn’t get spotted by a roving policeman, but it’s very difficult.

“The theft was found by the guys who came to open up on Saturday. The tank is used for our own vehicles.

“You don’t want to know my reaction to finding out about it happening again. What can you say, it’s disappointing.”

He added: “I’d like to warn other local businesses to ensure any tanks they have are as thief proof as they can make it. It’s a friendly warning to beef up security on tanks.”

Dorset Police recently launched Operation Countryside to encourage people to consider installing CCTV where appropriate and signing up to initiatives such as ‘Stop That Thief’ and ‘Stop That Oil’. 

Dorchester Neighbourhood Inspector, Les Fry, said: “Crimes such as theft of lead, scrap metal, heating oil and diesel are on the increase as fuel prices rise.

“Through Operation Countryside, we hope to encourage people to take all the crime prevention steps that they can, such as asset marking and using tracking devices. 

“We also want to encourage people to consider calling the police should they see any suspicious activity.

“We hope that by working together we can reduce rural crime and make our communities safer.”

Anyone with information on the Bradfords theft should call police direct on 101, or speak to Crime Stoppers on 0800 555 111.

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