Police Scotland is warning people in rural communities to be on their guard after a recent spate of diesel thefts in the Tayside area.
In one case, around 900 litres of white diesel was siphoned from a tank in a business yard while 40 gallons of red diesel were stolen from plant machinery at a construction site.
Tayside Division can offer security advice but is urging farmers and businesses to be suspicious of people who arrive unannounced at their premises. Where possible, they should note the details and descriptions of both the people and their vehicles and alert the police if they have even the slightest suspicion.
A Tayside Division spokeswoman said: “Fuel storage tanks should be kept in an area that is well lit, and tanks and containers should be secured with a closed hasp and high quality padlock on the filler cap. If possible tanks should be relocated inside suitable, lockable outbuildings that can be fitted with an alarm or given the additional security of being surrounded by a metal cage. Fuel valves should be guarded against attack from bolt cutters.
“Vehicles left in an open compound, yard or driveway can also be vulnerable and should be fitted with lockable fuel caps. Where possible, vehicles should be parked up against a fence or wall to prevent easy access to the fuel cap.”
Anyone wishing to report suspicious activity can call Tayside Division on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.