Councillor Logue said: “I feel it’s important that I put this appeal out now in relation to oil thieves targeting local homes as we head into the dark winter months.
“Over the past few years there have been some terrifying incidents in the Bogside where residents came across masked men in the gardens of their homes attempting to steal oil.
“I know that in a number of incidents these criminal gangs were successful in their pursuit of oil thefts.
“It needs to be made clear this is not victimless crime. These gangs strike fear into residents.
“They are not some type of modern Robin Hood characters, they are criminals preying on the community, plain and simple.
“Those responsible for these crimes have no regard for the personal circumstances of their victims and the cost and inconvenience created.
“Whilst there are individuals who pursue these criminal activities, I would urge residents to ensure that their oil tanks are properly secured.
“The more we protect our properties the greater the ability to thwart the thieves who prey on our community.
“It’s also needs to be said if people weren’t buying this stolen fuel there wouldn’t be a market for it.
“I would urge people not to buy this oil and if they have any info on who is involved in stealing the oil to contact the relevant authorities.”