MEON Valley MP George Hollingbery is warning residents to be on their guard for oil and fuel thieves.
Autumn is traditionally a time of year when fuel thefts go up – and rural areas are normally targeted.
Mr Hollingbery, who represents Waterlooville and Horndean, said: ‘Now the cold nights are not far away this expensive commodity is eyed covetously by these people.
‘Happily there is a great deal that can be done to discourage this type of crime.’
His warning comes as Hampshire Constabulary has produced an advice leaflet.
It says fuel tanks should be sited close to the house or overlooked by a window.
Closed-shackled padlocks offer the best form of security as there is very little of the metal hoop exposed for attack.
Low-energy lighting can also deter crooks.
The leaflet adds: ‘Finally, thieves will be reluctant to force their way through or over prickly vegetation. The smallest trace of blood or shred of ripped clothing could help police identify the offender through DNA.’