Warning About Propane Tank Thefts And Fires
A string of thefts in Delaware County could be the work of an arsonist.
Detectives are warning homeowners to keep an eye on their propane tanks.
The Delaware County Sheriff's Office and the Powell Police Department are asking residents to be on alert due to a rash of propane and gasoline thefts.
These incidents began in late June and continue to occur, mostly in the Liberty Township area.
Detectives believe the thieves are taking propane tanks from your gas grill then dousing them with gasoline in an attempt to make them explode.
The fire department says this is dangerous and are hoping it stops before some gets seriously hurt.
Ben Fields hopes he won't get burned by criminals looking to steal the propane tank attached to his grill.
“We just moved her a couple months ago,” he said. He had no idea of thefts in his neighborhood until we told him.
Now, he says he's going to take some precautions.
"I would consider storing it in the garage as opposed to the backyard, what we usually do,” Fields said.
According to the Delaware county sheriff's office, the propane thefts " are sporadic and no pattern has emerged."
10TV examined these offense reports and the times of the reported thefts and fires. We found they occurred as early as 5:00 p.m. to as late as 12:30 a.m.
On July 4th, a woman on Bear Pointe Circle discovered a propane cylinder and two gallon gas cans near the electrical relay box of this apartment complex. No fire was reported.
On June 10, Liberty township fire responded to Liberty Middle School for an arson run.
Firefighters found a " trash can containing two propane tanks on fire."
A day later, a homeowner on Wayne Brown Drive in Powell reported someone stole his propane tank.
Two days ago, in Concord Township a neighbor on Bean-Oller Road reported a propane tank on fire in the roadway. The fire department says the fire was set intentionally.
Like many neighborhoods, Liberty Township is dotted with backyards with gas grills in plain sight and most are not covered.
As for Ben Fields, he hopes his new awareness of the propane thefts will keep his gas tank out of the hands of gas thieves.
The Sheriff's department has no witness description of the person or person's stealing the propane tanks.
They are urging the public to report anything suspicious. Call 740-833-2800.
Stay with 10TV for updates.