Rising prices at France’s forecourts sparks jump in fuel thefts

As the price of fuel continues to rise sharply across France, thefts of petrol and diesel from vehicles’ tanks are rising rapidly, authorities have warned.

Rising prices at France's forecourts sparks jump in fuel thefts
Photo by Fred TANNEAU / AFP

Gendarmes in Brittany have said that they now receive reports of vehicles being siphoned daily.

“This phenomenon has been on the increase for several weeks. The vehicles most affected are those with large diesel tanks,” officers told France Bleu Breizh Izel.

Thieves also siphoned the tanks of vehicles belonging to the charity Restos du cœur in Perpignan.

MAP Where to find the cheapest fuel in France

“It’s really desperate. Our trucks are all marked with the colours of the Restos du cœur. The thieves knew exactly who they were targeting,” said Beatrice Pansa, president of the Restos du cœur in the Pyrénées-Orientales, to France Bleu Roussillon. 

Fuel prices in France were already on the rise but have soared since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, reaching €2 a litre in most areas with prices predicted to rise even higher.

The French government will present next week its plan to protect French businesses and consumers from the economic effects of the war in Ukraine, and the ensuing sanctions against Russia.

READ ALSO How will France protect its economy from the effects of the Ukraine war? 

HGVs at rest areas, business premises where fuel is stored and farms are prime targets, as criminals are able to siphon off 1,000 litres of fuel from larger tanks within a matter of minutes.

Meanwhile, a tanker driver in the Eure was the victim of an attempted robbery by four people who tried to force him to stop his vehicle.

Patrols have been stepped up in towns and cities across the country, while the gendarmerie has 250 security schemes to offer property protection advice to companies and individuals. This free service includes advice on protecting fuel stores.

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France charges teen over ‘imminent terror attack’ plot

French authorities have charged an 18-year-old man on suspicion of planning an imminent terror attack with a knife in the name of Islamic State (IS) jihadists, a judicial source said on Wednesday.

France charges teen over 'imminent terror attack' plot

Initial investigations indicated that he planned to carry out a terror attack “in the name of IS, to which he had pledged allegiance,” said the source, who asked not to be named, adding that the man had been detained in the Drome region of southeast France and charged in Paris.

The source added that the man had been detained in the Drome region of southeast France and charged in Paris.

The man, from a Muslim family, had adopted extremist views and was considered a threat, sparking France’s anti-terror prosecutors office (PNAT) to open an investigation on May 19, a source close to the case said.

Police arrested him on Friday and a video of him swearing allegiance to IS was found in his possession.

The source did not say whom he was planning to target in the attack or in which location.

France saw a wave of jihadist attacks from 2015 that left hundreds dead and pushed the country to its highest level of security alert.

There has been no repeat of a mass atrocity in the last years, but there have been several deadly attacks carried out by lone individuals

More to follow