Contractors are being urged to ensure that their plant and machinery is safe and secure when it is left overnight at work sites following a spate of fuel thefts.
In the latest raid, thieves stole a quantity of fuel from two excavators which were being used by a contractor carrying out bridge repair and maintenance work on behalf of Cumbria County Council.
The excavators had been temporarily parked in a field near How Wath Bridge, Kirkbride, when they were tampered with and some diesel was stolen.
A Cumbria police spokesperson said: “There are a few simple things that people can do to prevent being a victim of this type of crime.
“If you have commercial vehicles, consider how and where they are parked. Do not fill them with fuel the day before a long trip and park them overnight with a full tank. Consider CCTV on your premises, covering the vehicles and of course any private diesel supply you may have.
“Make sure all tanks are secure and properly locked, and that the tank side of the vehicle is on open view or under CCTV surveillance.
"Restrict access to the yard and vehicles – remember thieves need to get a vehicle relatively close to steal large amounts of fuel. Whilst the security of vehicles is also very important, the premises in which they are kept needs to be secure as possible.”