POLICE are warning people to take precautions with unoccupied vehicles and properties left in the open after a string of diesel thefts across central Queensland.
Bundaberg was hardest hit with 2000 litres of fuel siphoned from a truck on the Bruce Hwy near Monduran, but the thieves have targeted areas around Calliope, Moura, Miriam Vale and Gladstone in the past fortnight.
Police said diesel thefts were on the rise and put that down to the current prices, adding that it was likely the diesel was being offloaded.
Copper wire is also being stripped from around properties to be sold as scrap metal.
Gladstone Criminal Investigation Branch Detective Senior Sergeant Luke Peachey said they had seen a large increase in property-related offences, particularly offences involving the theft of diesel from vehicles and tanks.
"These offences have occurred as far as Moura, Mt Larcom, Calliope, Gladstone, and as far down as Bundaberg," Det Sen Sgt Peachey said.
"What we're trying to do is get people to be aware of people who may be coming on their properties and also to take a little bit of responsibility for your own vehicles and also your storage tanks."
He said they were currently investigating numerous people involved in the thefts occurring between October 5-17.
"We've executed search warrants in Calliope and found firearms that are linked to break and enters which we believe are also linked to break and enters out at Moura where a number of packets of cigarettes were stolen," he said.
Det Sen Sgt Peachey said in one case 2000 litres of fuel was taken from an address in Bundaberg, "that would indicate to us that's more than personal use, it's more than likely being offloaded".
"Most of them have been from private properties, but there was an incident two nights ago where over 200 litres of fuel was siphoned from a bus," he said.
"Diesel fuel is not cheap anymore - we've got a number of construction-type heavy earthmoving equipment being stored on the sides of the roads, on the Bruce Hwy and around that can make for easy targets."
He implored the community to be vigilant and keep a look out for strangers coming onto properties or evidence of break and enter, and to inform Crime Stoppers.
If you see anything suspicious phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
All overnight, from October 5-17:
- The Narrows, Mt Larcom, 240L
- Bruce Hwy, Monduran, Bundaberg, 2000L
- Popenia Rd, Mt Larcom, 100L
- Dawson Hwy, Calliope, 120L
- Rushbrook Rd, Boyne Island, 400L
- Racecourse Rd, Calliope, 320L
- Blackmans Gap Rd, Miriam Vale, 450L