Patrols are being stepped up in south Staffordshire to clamp down on thieves who steal from lorries loaded with goods.

In recent weeks offenders have slashed the curtains of six lorries parked up in lay-bys, or on car parks, along the A38 and M42 and made off with thousands of pounds worth of goods.

The thefts have all occurred overnight whilst lorry drivers are sleeping.

The most recent one was reported to police in the early hours of Wednesday 11 November, after a lorry was attacked whilst parked on Relay Drive in Tamworth, off the A5/M42.

Previous ones have occurred overnight Tuesday 10/Wednesday 11 November on Second Avenue, Burton, off the A38.

Overnight Monday 9/Tuesday 10 November on the A38 southbound lay-by at Barkers Lane, Lichfield.

Overnight Monday 2/Tuesday 3 November on the A38 SB at Swinfen, and the same time frame on the A38 NB on Lichfield Road, Barton-under-Needwood.

A lorry was also targeted whilst parked at Barton Business Park, Barton-under-Needwood, overnight Thursday 29/Friday 30 October.

Increased high visibility patrols are now being carried out by officers during the hours of darkness at key locations across the south of the county. This includes the use of ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) technology to detect and intercept suspicious vehicles.

Lorry drivers themselves are encouraged to step up security on their vehicles and report any sign of suspicious persons and/or activity by calling Staffordshire Police on 101.

Please follow this advice:

• Be alert to threats – watch for suspicious activity and never talk about your load to other people

• Lock your cab when driving and when leaving it and always keep the vehicle keys on you

• Protect your identity – try not to use company branded items

• Try to use established and safe lorry parks and plan these into your route – if possible vary your routine

• Never pick up hitch-hikers or unknown passengers.

Author: sp16394

Press Officer at Staffordshire Police