More than £2,600 of heating oil has been stolen from tanks in Worcestershire after heating oil prices double.

Police in rural Worcestershire are investigating a series of thefts from heating oil tanks. A total of more than £2,600-worth of oil was stolen in four separate raids between 10 and 15 December.

According to local reports, about £400 was taken from a tank in Besford Bridge, near Pershore, on the evening of 10 December. A second theft in the same area three days later saw £450 of oil stolen, with £900 stolen from two separate addresses near Pershore and Ombersley over the next two days.

Chief Inspector Jerry Reakes-Williams said: “It is very sad that, when most people are pulling together to help each other during this cold weather, a small minority are committing these offences.

“We are appealing for any information on any suspicious vehicles or people seen in the areas at the times given but would also remind people to secure their tanks as much as possible and, of course, remain vigilant.”

Anyone with any information should call police on 03003 333 000 or get in touch with Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

A man in his 20s was arrested on suspicion of theft on 13 December, and police have said enquiries are continuing.

The thefts came after concerns were raised in parliament about the rising costs and availability of heating oil supplies. The price of heating oil rose from 39p/litre to 71p/litre during November 2010.