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German authorities in Weiden are investigating the theft of more than 4,000 liters of diesel fuel from construction sites on the Grafenwöhr military installation over the past few months.

Although they have no leads, authorities suspect that construction site workers are involved in the removal of the fuel from equipment such as bulldozers and graters, said Reinhard Moeller, an officer from the criminal investigation department in Weiden.

“They would know the machines that are there,” he said. “They would know the work hours.

“I think it can be only people who have that knowledge of the area and that diesel fuel is used. Nobody outside [the construction sites] would know any of this.”

Construction crews reported the thefts. Investigators believe that, during weekends, the thieves siphoned the fuel out of the equipment into containers and then used some sort of truck, such as a pick-up, to carry it off, Moeller said.

Investigators said there was no sign of break-in at the construction sites, which sit inside the confines of the military post.

With diesel fuel prices in Germany up 30 percent from last year, Moeller said fuel theft is on the rise, with the criminal investigation department seeing more and more cases.

“High prices are a reason,” he said. “Diesel now costs about 1.10 euros (per liter, or about $4.15 per gallon). We have seen more cases of [fuel theft] at places like parking lots on the autobahn.”

Anyone with information about the theft should contact the Grafenwöhr military police at DSN 475-8319 or the Eschenbach Police Inspectorate at civilian 09645-920-400.

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