Avon and Somerset Police force has warned people who use oil for heating to protect their fuel, following an increase in thefts of oil tanks in south Somerset.
At least 13 thefts of oil and gas have been reported in recent weeks, in areas including Yeovil, Crewkerne and Cudworth, the force said.
The soaring prices and low supply of heating oil and gas have been cited for the increase in thefts.
Inspector Jackie Gold said: "Heating oil is hugely important to many of our residents.
"When it is stolen homeowners have to arrange another delivery, incur extra cost and possibly put up with a cold home for some days.
"It is unfair on those residents that they have to deal with this inconvenience just because some people think they can simply take what they want.
"There are some simple steps people can take to make their fuel harder to steal.
"The measures you can put in place do not often take much time or expense but can make all the difference. I would encourage people to give these careful consideration this Christmas."
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