THEFT of diesel has increased dramatically in rural areas of Wrexham say police.
Officers in the south of the county are now warning those who own agricultural vehicles or industrial tanks to lock them up.
Wrexham South Inspector Iwan Jones said: “Since January we have been noticing an increase in thefts of scrap metal and also increases of thefts of diesel from tanks in industrial areas and also from agricultural vehicles.
“Because the thefts have been happening in rural areas we are asking people to remain vigilant and report anything suspicious to us.
“When we get an economic downturn we generally see any increase in thefts of diesel and scrap metal.”
Police in Wrexham South, which includes areas such as Chirk, Llangollen rural, Plas Madoc, Penycae and Bronington, have sent out a newsletter to residents warning them of the thefts.
It reads: “Please ensure that vessels capable of storing any means of fuel are locked and kept secure at all times – we are currently experiencing a dramatic rise in thefts of fuel due to increasing fuel prices.”
Insp Jones said that his team had been working closely with HM Revenue and Customs to identify vehicles at risk.
“There is a different duty on agricultural vehicles than on normal vehicles,” Insp Jones explained.
“Agricultural vehicles for instance tend to use red diesel which is taxed at a lower rate.”
“We’re finding that people are stealing from these vehicles to put in their own car.
“These are opportunistic thefts and people should keep valuables locked up.”
Insp Paul Jones, of Wrexham North, said that the thefts were more common in rural areas.
“Very few would bother to cut a fuel pipe of a car because there isn’t as much fuel in there.”