Fuel thieves ‘like burglars’

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The number of fuel thefts being reported in Lancashire has gone up, police say.

It comes as motoring experts slam stealing from petrol stations as like “burgling somebody’s house” and that rising prices could be to blame.

More than £47,000 of fuel - 628 offences - was stolen across the county in the last financial year but police have insisted measures were being taken to tackle the problem. Lancashire Police has launched Forecourt Watch.

Insp James Black said: “The constabulary has identified that there has been an increase in reported theft of fuel offences.

“Neighbourhood policing teams have been visiting fuel retailers providing them with clarity on the process and pertinent crime prevention advice.”

Paul Watters, head of roads policy for the AA, said: “It’s criminality – it is the same as shoplifting, but they are probably netting more value than a shoplifter. You could put it down, perhaps a bit, to the price of fuel and the economic state of affairs some people are in, but it is no different to burgling somebody’s house.”