‘Heartless’ oil thieves hit North of the city during Christmas cold snap

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Oil thieves who targeted several homes in the North of the city over the Christmas period have been branded ‘heartless’ by a local councillor for the area.

Sinn Féin councillor Sandra Duffy said criminals responsible for a spate of oil thefts in Cornshell Fields had callously deprived a number of households of home heating at a time when it was badly needed.

“These are heartless criminals who care nothing for the people in their community who were left over Christmas and during particularly cold weather with no heat in their homes,” said the Ballyarnett District Electoral Area (DEA) councillor.

“This is the last thing these families needed at this time of the year,” she added.

Colr. Duffy encouraged people to take measures to protect their oil tanks from thieves who have been known to target homes using special equipment such as tankers and siphoning equipment, which are transported from crime scenes in vans or other vehicles.

While Cornshell Fields was hit over Christmas oil thieves have been known to operate throughout the entire city.

Colr. Duffy said anyone concerned about the security of their oil tanks should contact her constituency office or the Ballyarnett community safety team.

“If anyone would like to contact me I can arrange for the local community safety team to fit a lock to their oil tank to make things more difficult for these thieves,” said the local Sinn Féin councillor.

As well as fitting locks to oil tanks the PSNI has also suggested disguising tanks with fencing, plants and trellis’ or creating obstacles by placing plant pots and general garden paraphernalia in the path of any potential intruders.