Gangs launching ‘rollover raids’ on 50mph lorries to steal PS5s and cigarettes
Criminal gangs are carrying out daredevil raids on lorries at speeds of up to 50mph – with harnessed crooks clambering out of sunroofs, mounting bonnets and forcing open rear doors.
The acrobatic assaults, known as rollovers, had been carried out 27 times to September, with their popularity likely ramping up in the run up to Christmas.
High-value goods like PlayStation 5s, TVs and Apple products as well as consignments of booze, cosmetics and cigarettes have been pillaged in transit.
Three cars are often used to box HGVs in, with one thief, often secured by a rope, climbing out of sunroofs or modified hatches and using cutters and crowbars to break through back doors and hurl out loot, The Times reports.
The boom in online shopping has seen delivery firms increasingly targeted, with van drivers who often have minimal security training also hit.
In one ‘rollover’ raid on September 25 a lorry heading to Norfolk was attacked overnight, with high-value parcels stolen. No one has been arrested.
Police have warned hauliers about the tactic and advised them to boost their security and vary routes – although the planning involved in many attacks leads to suspicions of insiders feeding back information.
One career criminal said gangs were targeting goods in transit because of tough security elsewhere.
Last month £5 million of Apple products were looted from a lorry which had been forced off the M1, with the driver and a security guard tied up.
And in Milton Keynes last month a trucker was held at knifepoint when a gang broke into his vehicle near a John Lewis warehouse.
In October more than 200 televisions worth £136,000 were stolen from the same distribution centre in a similar raid which left the 59-year-old driver with a fractured eye socket.
In the West Midlands a female driver was hit with her own van by a hijacker in one of 10 raids in as many days.
Chrys Rampley, a former security manager at the Road Haulage Association, said: “Somebody must know when and where that vehicle is and it can’t be just random that you are going to attack that. Somebody has done some tipping off.”
The National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service said there had been 3,055 cargo crimes in the first nine months of the year, costing businesses £66 million.