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Brazen thieves take training shoes

PUBLISHED: 15:06 11 June 2003 | UPDATED: 13:59 03 March 2010

DARING thieves are being hunted today after they tricked staff at a Felixstowe depot into handing over a container of training shoes worth £50,000.

Workers at the yard in Blofield Road were hoodwinked into actually loading the 40ft box onto the thieves' own lorry trailer, which they drove into the yard.

DARING thieves are being hunted today after they tricked staff at a Felixstowe depot into handing over a container of training shoes worth £50,000.

Workers at the yard in Blofield Road were hoodwinked into actually loading the 40ft box onto the thieves' own lorry trailer, which they drove into the yard.

They then calmly checked it was all loaded safely and securely and drove off with their haul - before staff realised they had been conned.

Investigations have been taking place into the brazen theft and inquiries are still ongoing with a number of leads being followed up.

A Suffolk police spokeswoman said the thieves had brought their own lorry and trailer with them and the container had been loaded onto the truck at the depot, which has not been identified but is situated just outside the secure port complex.

The box is understood to have contained more than 1,200 pairs of Fila trainers in two styles. One set of shoes is white, navy and red, and the other white and silver-coloured.

"We are following a number of leads and assessing information we have gathered so far," said the police spokeswoman.

Anyone with information about the incident, or who has been offered Fila shoes is asked to contact Felixstowe CID on 01473 613500.

But officers believe the shoes by now will be in other parts of the country.

Most lorry and container thefts from the area around Felixstowe are carried out by professional gangs with final destinations already earmarked. Loads are then quickly split up into smaller consignments and distributed countrywide.

Police all over the country have been alerted about the latest theft, which occurred at 3.25pm on Friday, May 23, and are on the look-out for the goods and container.

In the past year there have been a large number of thefts from the town, including a container-load of stereos worth nearly £200,000, Mothercare strollers, bed linen, crayons and wooden trays, beer, vodka and clothes.

In the most serious incident a security guard was kidnapped at the Pentalver yard in Blofield Road when a gang stole three boxes in one night.

Police crime reduction officers have been trying to persuade hauliers to increase security at their premises. Many have employed security guards, improved fencing and gates to compounds, installed cameras, fitted vehicles with immobilisers and anti-hitch devices, parked containers back to back to stop them being opened, and issued advice to their drivers on security.

The Road Haulage Association says more than £500m of trucks and goods are stolen each year with more than 3,000 loads never recovered.

N What do you think should be done to make Felixstowe docks more secure? Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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