Boat fuel laced to beat thieves

PUBLISHED: 16:46 07 July 2008 | UPDATED: 09:15 10 June 2010

A vigilante movement has set up its own 'boom and bust' scheme to fight thieves beating the fuel price explosion by taking petrol and diesel from boats moored at Exmouth Quay. Some boat owners have been allegedly mixing acetone into bait" fuel cans in a

A vigilante movement has set up its own 'boom and bust' scheme to fight thieves beating the fuel price explosion by taking petrol and diesel from boats moored at Exmouth Quay.Some boat owners have been allegedly mixing acetone into "bait" fuel cans in a bid to blow the engines of anyone stealing fuel for their own vehicle. The behaviour has provoked warnings about the dangers of mixing fuel, though police are not seeking to take action against boat owners.Boat owners at Exmouth Quay have become incensed at the high volume of thefts over recent weeks. Exmouth police have urged owners to ensure fuel is safely stored - and asked for vigilance at the quay.PC Mat Helm said: "Some boat owners have been leaving booby trapped fuel, which won't do anybody's engine any good."Obviously, Devon and Cornwall Constabulary cannot condone this, but ultimately we can understand boat owners' anger and frustration. If someone takes this fuel, it could serve them right."If anyone is offered petrol, they should know better than to purchase fuel from dodgy suppliers - and it could end up being more expensive in the long run." Police consulted Exmouth firefighters to establish the danger surrounding the vigilante action.Exmouth fire station watch commander Giles White warned against tampering with petrol. He said: "Mixing acetone with petrol will make it more volatile and, though it could blow up just like petrol could, it would be over-dramatising things to say it is likely."But anyone mixing fuels probably faces a bigger risk than the people they are trying to stitch up. We would strongly advise people not to try it."l Anyone with information about the theft of the bright red fuel canisters can contact Exmouth police on (08452) 777444.l Two orange 24-litre plastic fuel containers full of petrol were stolen from a yacht moored at the marina. The containers were taken from the deck. If anyone has any information, please call PCSO Karen Cappey on (08452)777444, quoting reference number KE-08-1934.

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