Diesel fuel theft, along with diesel fuel prices, is at an all time high. Diesel theft is an international problem, with news of fuel theft coming in from Australia, the UK and New Zealand as well as across the US. With prices set to remain high it’s time for you to set up appropriate defenses.
This article first shows common practices and strategies of fuel thieves so you can easily detect your vulnerabilities. Then it outlines 6 ways to stop diesel fuel thieves before they start.
To stop fuel theft you must first get to know your enemy…
Who Do Diesel Thieves Target?
Diesel thieves target large fuel holdings, wherever those may be. From farms to gas stations to truck stops to construction sites to fleet vehicle parking lots you’ll find fuel thieves at work. Sometimes they target the gas tanks on heavy machinery and sometimes onsite fuel tanks. If there are large amounts of diesel fuel stored on your property then you’re at high risk for diesel fuel theft.
- Vehicle Fleets
- Farms With Diesel Fueled Irrigators and Other Equipment
- Construction Sites
- Gas Stations
- Semi Trucks
How Do Diesel Thieves Work?
Diesel thieves require a truck with a big tank and siphoning equipment. Note that siphon pumps are readily available at big box hardware stores. There are reports of specially equipped pick-ups with professionally hidden fuel storage tanks and siphon pumps that run off of the engine. They just drop their hose into a fuel tank and let it run. When they are filled up they roll in their hose and drive away. There are also reports of thieves cutting fuel lines and drilling directly into fuel tanks too. As you can see from their tactics, they are often quite reckless with their own lives.
Fuel thieves typically assess opportunities during the day time, so be on the lookout for loiterers and strangers straggling through your property. They often strike at night.
Who Buys the Stolen Fuel?
To drive this black market economy you need buyers. It’s rumored – and this is entirely rumor – that it’s often truckers who buy stolen fuel. This will not always be the case, but it makes sense. Thieves have to keep sales in mind and will probably strike areas near highway diesel fueling stations and truck stops. If you operate in these areas you may be especially vulnerable to theft.
6 Ways to Stop Fuel Theft
Now that we’ve gotten to know the enemy and how he operates, here are some tips for stopping him before he ever gets the chance to dip his hose in your fuel tank. We highly recommend our live video surveillance to stop fuel thieves, though you can read on for more suggestions.
1) Inventory Includes Your Diesel Fuel: Measure It!
Having a complete inventory for your operation helps you know when theft occurs. If you haven’t started counting your gallons of fuel as inventory then start today. Make sure that vehicle usage records line up with fuel usage. If not, you could have an employee who’s siphoning off a little bit every day.
2) Defensive Parking
If you operate a fleet of vehicles then consider using these defensive parking methods. Park so that your fuel tanks are easily visible from the street OR your live surveillance cameras. If you have large fleets, park them so that their fuel tanks are inaccessible.
3) Locking Fuel Caps and Anti-Siphoning Deterrents
There are many after-market products that can make the fuel tanks on your vehicles less vulnerable. Conduct a few web searches and you will turn up hundreds. These won’t stop all thieves, but they send the strong signal that you’re aware that fuel thieves exist.
4) Good Security Lighting
Good security lighting doesn’t send a glare out to observers from the street. Instead, it lights your defended areas like a stage so that passers by, neighbors and the police can see in easily. Park your vehicles with their gas tanks clearly in the radius of your lighting. Alternately, be sure that your fuel pumps are well lit and easily visible from the road.
For more about security lighting read: 5 Security Lighting Tips For Your Construction Site
5) Strong Fences Around Generators and Fuel Pumps
You should absolutely have strong perimeter fencing around your operation. However, you should also consider a secondary fence internally around your fuel pumps. Fences don’t slow down determined thieves too much, but they do send a clear psychological message that the fuel will be hard to access.
For more about security fences read: How Secure is Your Construction Security Fence? 11 Questions to Ask
6) Post Appropriate Security Signage
If you have live video surveillance – or any other form of security service – post signs that lets everyone know that they are being watched. If you have any theft rewards then post signs about those too. Displaying outward signs of security is one of the most effective forms of security.
And remember, nothing stops fuel thieves like Pro-Vigil’s live video surveillance! Contact Pro-Vigil today for free security consultation: email@example.com, 866.616.1318.