Many victims of domestic heating oil theft do not report the crime to police, a new study suggests.
More than 2,000 incidents have been reported in the past three years, worth over £5.2 million, but the actual figure is believed to be much higher, according to a report.
Heating oil firm BoilerJuice said its research indicated that the biggest region for theft is East Anglia.
One in four victims said their neighbours had their oil stolen at the same time, said the report.
Lee Cowles, chief executive of BoilerJuice, said: “While it’s not the most commonly reported crime, oil theft can be hugely disruptive and costly for the households that experience it.
“Speaking to our customers, we know that one of the biggest challenges is proving, or even noticing that oil theft has taken place.”