Massive fuel theft in Carinthia

Thousands of litres of petrol were nicked from industrial estates in Carinthia at the weekend, police said yesterday (Mon).

Officials in the district of Villach said 6,000 litres of fuel were missing after someone entered a business property in Kras. They explained that the criminals robbed fuel from the tanks of five lorries and other vehicles. The thieves also took a petrol pump and another device with them, according to investigators.

Police also announced that 1,300 litres of petrol were stolen when two oil tanks were opened with force in Weißenstein at some point at the weekend. They did not reveal whether the two incidents may be related. The thefts left the affected companies with 8,000 Euros of damage.

The thefts may have to do with soaring fuel prices. According to car club Arbö, an average Austrian household was forced to spend 360 Euros more on petrol so far this year than in 2010. The sharp increase of prices for mineral oil products have been one of the main reasons for inflation in Austria in the past months. Drivers had to cough up 17 per cent more for the same amount of petrol in August 2011 than in the same month of last year.