Lorry drivers and farmers to unite to halt growing trend of fuel thefts across Fenland

PUBLISHED: 12:55 21 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:37 02 June 2010

Stolen Diesel at JS Cook, Manea
L2R Driver Tony Edmonds and owner Jason Cook

Stolen Diesel at JS Cook, Manea L2R Driver Tony Edmonds and owner Jason Cook

LORRY drivers and farmers are to ignite a campaign against fuel thieves. Well-oiled criminals have been emptying petrol tanks of diesel fuel for the past month. Fed up that their efforts to foil the crooks have failed, they have decided an action groups n

LORRY drivers and farmers are to ignite a campaign against fuel thieves.

Well-oiled criminals have been emptying petrol tanks of diesel fuel for the past month.

Fed up that their efforts to foil the crooks have failed, they have decided an action groups needs revving up to drain their nemeses of energy.

But they say they need backing from the police, who are yet to catch the culprits.

Jason Cook says his business is running on empty after five thefts.

He said: "It is awful. Every time they come it takes a long time to earn that money back. Then they come and steal more."

Mr Cook has installed high-security fences and locks at his premises in Westfield Road, Manea in a bid to drive the thieves away.

But the stealers have run rings round him and managed to break into Westfield Farm regardless.

They have taken £1,500 of diesel from the haulage firm and forced it spend about £3,000 on protective security - which has failed to stop them.

Mr Cook, who runs JS Cook Agriculture General Haulage, said: "This business is struggling like any other.

"We don't make a fortune out of lorries but the fuel costs are very high. Whenever this happens it is a huge setback."

In a rallying cry to fellow countryside businessmen, Mr Cook said: "We are in a rural area and this is a rural crime.

"There is widespread problem here with other farmers and haulers. We need to set up a group and sort it out. We need a dedicated team because we are losing thousands."

A Cambridgeshire Police spokeswoman said: "We are aware of a number of fuel thefts and investigations are underway."

The force advised companies to take precautions, such as keeping fuel levels in vehicle tanks low and reviewing on site security.

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