Police are calling on HGV drivers to report anything suspicious when parked up at motorway service areas (MSAs) after a slew of thefts last month.

Thieves are targeting MSAs across the UK’s road network, resulting in thousands of pounds of goods and fuel being stolen, according to the latest findings from the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NAVCIS).

Recent cargo crimes at MSAs include six incidents of diesel theft at the Clacket Lane services on the M25 last month, whilst in Hampshire twelve lorries had their curtainsides slashed and goods stolen from one truck, whilst parked overnight at the M3 Fleet Services on 23 March.

On the same night the Cardiff Gate services on Junction 4 of the M3 was also targeted by thieves who stole three pallets of car parts from a trailer.

The M25 was also the scene of a cargo theft and subsequent arrests on 25 March after police responded to a report of suspicious activity at the HGV park at Cobham Services.

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According to NAVCIS, an HGV trailer had been broken into at the MSA. Police gave chase to a van believed to be involved in the offence. The van was abandoned on the M25 and police arrested two males from Leeds in nearby woodland.

Bulk fuel thefts have increased this year. However police scored a win against fuel thieves last month after West Midlands Police officers spotted a suspicious DAF truck on 9 March at Shilton Lane in Coventry.

The vehicle was stopped on the motorway and found to contain pumping equipment and large containers for bulk fuel thefts. NAVCIS said the two occupants of the DAF HGV attempted to run from the lorry across fields but were detained in farm land and arrested for going equipped with tools intended for use in the course of a theft.

NAVCIS latest cargo theft update revealed that so far there have been 783 HGV and cargo crime notifications in 2021, with the cost price loss amounting to £13.9m and the average cost price loss value per incident amounting to £17,752.

Police are calling on HGV drivers to remain vigilant and are asking any that may have information relating to cargo or freight theft to contact freight@navcis.pnn.police.uk. Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously.