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Thieves raid 1,000 litres of fuel from Summerleaze

Security will be tightened at a gravel firm after almost £1,500 of diesel fuel was stolen from its Riverside facility at the weekend.

Summerleaze executive chairman Peter Prior said he needed to ensure future break-ins are deterred after thieves drained 1,000 litres from 14 lorries at the site.

The raid, which is believed to have happened on Sunday evening, comes three weeks after a tank of fuel was stolen from the business.

“I think the reason it is targeted, quite honestly, is things are tough,” Mr Prior said.

“It is hard to make money.

“When that happens, you get an upsurge in crime.

“People think they can find a way to get bread on the table, and they resort to illegal means.”

He believed the crooks must have vaulted the facility’s gates or fences and then siphoned the fuel from the lorries, which are used to transport gravel from the Summerleaze Road site. The company’s head office is also based there.

“No-one saw them,” Mr Prior, who lives in Sheephouse Road, said.

The theft was only noticed when one of the drivers got in on Monday morning. Some of the fuel had been spilled during the crime.

Mr Prior noted that some garages charging up to £1.50 per litre of fuel, the cost of the theft could be approaching £1,500.

Information about the theft was distributed in a community alert email sent out by Thames Valley Police.

It said that the break-in could have taken place between 5pm Saturday (February 24) and 6.30am on Monday (February 26).

No details about the burglars were provided, and went contacted, a spokesman for the force told the Advertiser: “Details about the fuel thefts, including time period, are on the Thames Valley alert you mentioned.

“There have been no arrests and there are really no other details at this stage.”

Mr Prior said: “I think there is very little they can do.

“Police resources are very stretched.”

Call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 with any information.

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