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Gang planned kidnap and robbery at port

PUBLISHED: 21:18 22 January 2002 | UPDATED: 11:14 03 March 2010

METICULOUS planning by a gang of raiders was a key factor in the kidnapping and robbery at a Felixstowe haulage yard police said today.

They believe the group of men who raided Pentalver Transport container yard had been "extremely well organised" and that they loaded the stolen containers onto trucks to whisk them away from the port.

METICULOUS planning by a gang of raiders was a key factor in the kidnapping and robbery at a Felixstowe haulage yard police said today.

They believe the group of men who raided Pentalver Transport container yard had been "extremely well organised" and that they loaded the stolen containers onto trucks to whisk them away from the port.

The raid happened on Saturday evening when a Securicor guard was kidnapped by a group of men dressed as police officer. As the guard approached the van, the men wearing balaclavas, grabbed him and handcuffed him and then drove for four hours before dumping him in Essex.

Acting Det Insp Allan Forbes said: "The robbery was extremely well organised as the gang made off with three containers loaded with clothing, stealing tractor units and trailers to transport them."

The robbers used bolt cutters to break the security seals and broke in to more than 20 containers before deciding which ones to take.

Mr Forbes continued: "This was a very serious incident and the offenders seized the security officers liberty and this was a serious aggressive factor.

"The guard who is in his mid 30s received minor injuries and although shaken is in good spirits and health despite his ordeal.

"We are currently working in conjunction with Essex police and following up various lines of enquiry."

Police believe the men had loaded the containers on to the trailers, showing that they had planned well in advance, and also had considerable knowledge of the haulage industry.

Police also believe that the men may have been in the area from around 2.30pm on Saturday scouring the Port.

The kidnapping happened at approximately 8pm on Saturday and police would like to hear from anybody who may have a seen a white style transit van between these times.

A spokesman for Pentalver Transport in Blofield Road, said: "While shocked, the security guard was unharmed. The gang made off with three containers loaded with clothing, stealing tractor units and trailers to transport them with.

"We are thankful that no one was injured in this incident, and we are co-operating fully with the police in their investigations."

The guard, who lives in Felixstowe but has not been identified by police, was left shaken by his Saturday night ordeal and he has declined to talk publicly about the attack.

The gang of four men also stole three 40ft Volvo lorries from the road haulier and container storage operator in Blofield Road. Two of the lorries contained Nike footwear and in the other lorry there were boys' cotton trousers.

The robbers broke into more than 20 containers on the site and they left two of the lorries close to where the guard was released. A third lorry was found on the A130 at Howe Green, between Chelmsford and Great Dunmow, yesterday afternoon after it was spotted by a lorry driver – but the contents were missing.

The guard was left on an old stretch of the A414 between Ongar and Chelmsford on a section of road which is now bypassed.

Police urge anyone who may have seen the vehicles, which may have been travelling in convoy to Essex, to contact Felixstowe CID on 01473 383300 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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