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Criminal gang members are risking their lives to steal Playstations TVs, cosmetics, mobile phones and cigarettes in a daring exploit known as a “rollover”.
The deadly stunt has reportedly been used in at least 27 robberies this year.
The crooks drive alongside articulated lorries and one gang member climbs out onto the car’s bonnet and cuts into the side of the trailer to gain access to the goods inside.
The National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (Navcis) has warned haulage companies and truckers to be aware of the new criminal technique while carrying high-value cargo such as Playstations and iPhones.
The robbers are thought to be obtaining information about valuable cargo that enables them to target particular shipments and steal to order.
One lorry on a late-night run between Leicestershire and Norfolk was robbed on September 25.
Police say that while the truck was moving its trailer “was entered and high-value parcels stolen”. The culprits have yet to be traced.
One gang member, speaking anonymously to The Times, said that better security in warehouses and distribution centres had led criminals to target goods while they were in transit.
The rise in online shopping has encouraged smaller-scale hijack attempts too, especially in the run-up to Christmas.
In October, an Amazon driver in Birmingham was dragged along the road by his own van in a terrifying broad daylight carjacking.
The driver, in his 40s, suffered cuts and a leg injury as he fell from the vehicle.
A spate of similar attacks was reported in Wolverhampton last month.
A West Midlands police spokesperson said at the time: ”The unknown offenders are threatening the drivers to get out or forcing them out of the vehicle to gain access to the vehicle and the packages which haven't been delivered yet.
"There has been two crimes which has happened recently, which are very similar."
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