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Thieves Steal $330,000 Worth of Diesel From Docked Royal Navy Warship

“Like taking candy from a baby” shouldn’t apply in the case of a mighty warship, but it does. In a supposedly weeks-long heist, thieves were able to steal some $330,000 worth of diesel from the Royal Navy warship HMS Bulwark.
HMS Bulwark is a Royal Navy amphibious warship that's been in service since 2001 6 photos
HMS Bulwark is a Royal Navy amphibious warship that's been in service since 2001HMS Bulwark is a Royal Navy amphibious warship that's been in service since 2001HMS Bulwark is a Royal Navy amphibious warship that's been in service since 2001HMS Bulwark is a Royal Navy amphibious warship that's been in service since 2001HMS Bulwark is a Royal Navy amphibious warship that's been in service since 2001
HMS Bulwark, ordered in 1996 and launched in 2001, is one of the two existing Royal Navy amphibious warships and is used to get personnel and equipment to land by sea and by air. It’s been dry-docked since late 2020 at HMNB Devonport in Plymouth, Devon, which is also its home-base, for refits and optimization.

This extended period of docking proved to be its Achilles’ heel, allowing thieves to steal the diesel that should have gone on board for the generators, The Telegraph reports (link is paywalled). Reports in the British media note that the Ministry of Defense (MoD) believes the heist extended over weeks, with thieves simply driving away the tankers that should have carried the fuel to the warship for the generators.

The fuel, estimated at over £250,000, never made it on board and was simply taken out of Devonport by drivers believed to be working for the civil subcontractors, Babcock International, Plymouth Herald informs. While this was a security breach, it was not as grave as reported by certain outlets because the theft did not occur on the warship but rather on the way there.

Unnamed sources say that a similar incident took place in September when “someone” tried “to get away with the diesel” in a similar manner, i.e., by simply driving off with the tanker. That time, the person was apprehended. In this new incident, they were not because a security guard rang the alarm on the unusual activity after the tankers had left the premises.

“The MoD is aware of an incident involving the alleged theft of fuel from a contractor within HMNB Devonport,” the Ministry of Defense says in a statement. “There was no disruption to Defense operations and the MoD has no further comment.”

An investigation is now underway.

 
 
 
 
 

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