Northern Ireland

Lorry used in Craigantlet quarry diesel theft known

Police believe they have identified the vehicle used to steal up to 25,000 litres of diesel oil from storage tanks at a quarry in north Down.

The theft was reported to police by staff at Craigantlet Quarry shortly after 07:00 BST on Thursday.

Det Ch Insp Ian Wilson said they had identified a stolen light blue 40ft articulated lorry thought to have moved the liquid from the site.

He also said this case was being linked to an earlier diesel theft.

Seven thousand litres of diesel were stolen from a filling station in nearby Crawfordsburn on 21 July.

"We are dealing with the two thefts collectively under the banner of one investigation," he said.

"It is at an early stage at this moment to say that they are absolutely linked, but they are very similar."

Mr Wilson said he believed the lorry used had a dark blue curtain covering one side and the registration number WLZ 8023.

He explained to BBC Radio Ulster's Evening Extra that the diesel oil in Craigantlet had been stored at the quarry in underground tanks.

"There has been damage caused to the tanks to facilitate the removal of the oil," he added.

"They have had to go to a certain amount of trouble to remove it."

These incidents are not thought to be connected to recent burglaries at unoccupied houses in Crawfordsburn and Helen's Bay.

Anyone with further information is asked to contact Ards CID on 0845 600 8000 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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