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CCTV may combat lorry thefts from port

PUBLISHED: 06:50 14 June 2002 | UPDATED: 12:05 03 March 2010

CCTV cameras could be installed on the busy A14 to help police combat the growing problem of lorry thefts from the Port of Felixstowe.

The measure is today being investigated by officers as a method to both deter the professional gangs who are targeting the port and to catch the thieves as they make their getaway.

CCTV cameras could be installed on the busy A14 to help police combat the growing problem of lorry thefts from the Port of Felixstowe.

The measure is today being investigated by officers as a method to both deter professional gangs who are targeting the port and to catch thieves as they make their getaway.

Meanwhile, more evidence has emerged of the sophistication of the raiders carrying out the thefts.

One of the gangs involved in the two incidents revealed this week took with them the security cameras from the haulage yard, and then locked the gates behind them so nothing would be suspected.

Police all over the country have been alerted over the latest thefts and a hunt is underway for the stolen goods, which could then spark a series of leads to help track down the thieves.

Police believe the thefts are far from random and feel sure many of the thieves are acting on inside information, often carrying out their own surveillance and then distributing the goods countrywide through a cleverly-run network system.

Last weekend a container-load of stereos worth nearly £200,000 was taken from Welham Transport, Road Hauliers Road, after thieves drove their own cab unit into the depot, hitched up and drove away.

Detectives believe the gang, who got away with 540 Goodman brand mini surround sound hi-fi systems, knew exactly what they were seeking.

A few days earlier a quantity of Mothercare strollers were stolen from a container in a yard in Fagbury Road.

The raiders brought their van in to the yard, immediately opened the container with the distinctive Jive Cats 'n' Dogs strollers marked with the Mothercare logo inside, and loaded up. They took cameras – not the first time raiders have done so – and locked the gates.

The firm involved has asked police not to reveal its name.

Neither of the thefts happened from premises inside the secure 700-acre port complex.

A police spokeswoman said the two incidents were not being connected and were not being linked to other previous incidents at this stage.

"Inquiries are ongoing at the moment and a number of lines of investigation are being pursued by the officers on the case," she said.

"Other forces around the country have been alerted via the national lorry crimes desk so that they will be on the look-out for any of the goods which were stolen.

"We are keeping an open mind and looking at a number of issues and all leads are being followed up."

Police crime reduction officers will be carrying out fresh work with hauliers to try to persuade them to increase security at their premises, and were looking at the possibility of cameras on the A14.

Many firms have employed security guards, improved fencing and gates to their 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.

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