A Sheffield Haulage firm has vowed never to park at Warwick Services again after 13 pallets of high value sportswear was stolen out of one of its lorries in the middle of the night.
Hallam Express said it was “outrageous” that the Welcome Break-operated motorway service area admitted there was no CCTV operating in the parking area when the HGV was targeted earlier this week.
Betsy Simpson, sales and marketing director at the haulier, said she was certain the theft was planned and that someone had been tipped off, after only valuable goods were stolen from its trailer between 18 and 19 September.
“The driver was asleep at the time and it was the night of the storms,” she told motortransport.co.uk.
“It seems absolutely outrageous to be paying forty-odd pounds a night to stay there.
“The driver thought it was secure. He tried to get into a truckstop nearby but it was full and so rather than park in a layby he went to the services because he saw it as more safe.
“Everyone agrees we need to make this more known; the industry does not get the respect we deserve - it’s not right.
“Now our driver will be worrying every time he parks up, worrying about his own security and for the freight. But that’s the least of our worries in comparison to our drivers.”
A Welcome Break spokeswoman said it operated a number of security measures across its sites: “This includes LED lighting so there is improved visibility at night," she said.
“We also have a record of every vehicle coming in and out of our service areas. We work closely with the local police authorities to encourage the safety and security of our team members and customers should an incident occur.
She added: “We are aware of the incident that took place at Warwick. This is a matter for the police and we will support them with their enquiries.”
A spokesman for Warwickshire police said if anyone had heard or seen anything related to the incident then they should get in touch: “In the early hours of the morning between 18 and 19 September, there was an incident at Warwick Services on the M40 in which an unknown suspect reportedly took 13 pallets worth of outdoor sports gear from a parked articulated lorry,” the spokesman said.
“This incident is currently under investigation.”
The theft comes just days after Preston haulier M. Threlfall Transport said its lorry had been targeted at Keele Services with a significant amount of North Face products stolen from one of its curtainsiders, which was parked under CCTV cameras.
Earlier this year, the haulier demanded more security for their vehicles and drivers at sites around the UK following a string of thefts from its trucks.
A spokesman for M. Threlfall Transport said: “We are keen to get something sorted for ourselves and other haulage firms. The fact this happens so often and on paying sites is unacceptable and it feels like there is no prevention to this happening.”
Staffordshire police said: “At 7am on Tuesday 12 September, we were called to Keele services on the M6 after a lorry driver discovered that someone had forced entry into the trailer of their HGV.
“Unknown suspects had taken a number of boxes of high-value clothes from inside.
“We believe the theft took place between 10pm on 11 September and 7am on 12 September.
“We are keen to speak to anyone who was in the area at the time or those who may have CCTV or dashcam footage at the time of the theft.”