Fuel theft from trucks on the rise in Southern Estonia
There have been several reports to police this week alone of hundreds of liters of fuel at a time being stolen from the gas tanks of parked trucks.
On Tuesday, police were notified of an incident in Kasepää Parish, Jõgeva County, wherein approximately 400 liters, or over 105 gallons, of fuel had been stolen overnight from the fuel tank of a truck parked in a parking lot.
Overnight going into Wednesday, approximately 150 liters, or 40 gallons, of fuel were stolen from the fuel tank of a Scania truck parked in a lot meant for trucks on the side of the highway in Põltsamaa Parish, while in Kikivere village, Tartu Parish, someone broke the gas cap of a truck parked in a lot, stealing nearly 300 liters, or nearly 80 gallons, of fuel.
Jõgeva Police Station Prevention and Procedural Service Center Director Üllar Sõmera eplained that one theme the incidents had in common was the thieves' use of the cover of night, when truck drivers are usually asleep for longer periods of time. In doing so, the thieves have been able to work almost without interruption.
In order to avoid falling victim to fuel thieves, the police recommend parking in well-lit lots with security cameras for longer breaks whenever possible. "[Drivers] should make sure that their truck remains within view of the cameras, with the side of the truck with the fuel tank remaining in the light," explained Sõmera.
For a number of years, specially designed gas caps have also been available which alert the driver via SMS or email when their fuel tank has been accessed. These gas caps are often equipped with a steel screen which makes stealing fuel more difficult, noted the Police and Border Guard Board South Prefecture's press statement.
"Without a doubt, another great help is a fuel gauge installed in the [fuel] tank which likewise notifies the owner via SMS in the event of a sudden drop in fuel level," added Sõmera. "If you take into account just the damage caused by this week's thefts, then such an investment would surely pay for itself."