Wirral businesses hit by HGV lorry thefts

A SPATE of tractor unit thefts is ruining the livelihoods of hauliers in Wirral.

In recent weeks six incidents have been recorded of powerful Scania and MAN vehicles being targeted by organised gangs.

The thieves come fully equipped with chains and straps to move trailers from cabs but if they are unsuccessful leave them so damaged they need major repairs.

It is believed the wagons are cannibalised for parts which are sold abroad, or are used to tow away whole trailers full of goods at other sites and are later burnt out or abandoned.

Self-employed Eddie Williams, 34, kept his Scania at Tarran Way South in Moreton.

He said: “I came back to the yard on September 4 to find they had tried to move the cab but couldn’t because it was immobilised.

“It got smashed up as they used a nearby JCB to drag it from the trailer – I think it was an attempt to steal to order for someone abroad.

“In the current market it would cost you £15,000 but it’s normally worth a lot more.

“It was fixed and on September 18, the day I was due to start work again my friend called me to come to the site. They had come back and it was gone. I was speechless.

“It was found in St Helens but the repairs will cost £750. I’m not working while its fixed and I’ve lost the contract I had so I’m pretty much looking at financial ruin.”

A MAN wagon belonging to his friend was also targeted.

John Ball, 70, from West Kirby has been operating his haulage business from Carr Lane Industrial Estate in Hoylake for 40 years.

His Scania tractor unit was stolen last Sunday. He not only lost a contract but must now pay for the hire of a replacement.

Birkenhead’s NWT Trading near Birkenhead docks also confirmed the theft of two Scania tractors on July 24.

A spokeswoman for Merseyside Police said: “We are investigating separate incidents in which vehicles of this type have been stolen.

“This is a rare type of theft and officers are keeping an open mind as to whether the thefts are linked.

“We have proactively offered crime prevention advice to similar companies and advised them to ensure that sufficient security is in place and to look out for suspicious behaviour.

“Anyone who has any information on these types of theft or has seen the vehicles is asked to call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”