LORRIES are being drained of an entire tank of fuel by gangs of thieves as police issue a warning to HGV drivers and businesses to beware.

The thieves have been targeting HGVs on the Berry Hill Industrial Estate in Droitwich with two separate incidents in just a few days.

Worcester News: TARGET: HGVs in George Baylis Road, Berry Hill Industrial Estate, Droitwich TARGET: HGVs in George Baylis Road, Berry Hill Industrial Estate, Droitwich (Image: Google)

The most recent theft was in the early hours of Tuesday, May 2 in George Baylis Road, which forms part of the industrial estate. 

DI Dave Knight of South Worcestershire Proactive CID, based at Worcester Police Station, said patrols in the estate had been stepped up by West Mercia Police who are seeking to identify and apprehend offenders.

"An entire tank of diesel has been drained from the HGV. They are breaking the fuel cap and syphoning out the fuel," he said.

The theft followed another, also on the Berry Hill Industrial Estate, on the evening of Saturday, April 29 into the early hours of Sunday, April 30.

The fuel cap was forced open and 200 litres of diesel was stolen.

Because there are workers on the site 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he urged people to remain vigilant and to dial 999 if they suspect a crime is in progress. 

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DI Knight said rural and business crime officers were employed by West Mercia Police to tackle precisely this sort of offending.

We have previously reported on a number of keyless car thefts in the north of the county but DI Knight wanted people in south Worcestershire - including Worcester, Malvern and Evesham - to be aware, and, where possible to take measures to protect their property.

A spokesperson for West Mercia's Operations Patrol Unit said there had been an increase in keyless thefts of Land Rover vehicles earlier this week.

Police advice includes the purchase of a Faraday bag which can block thieves from stealing cars. The bag prevents the thieves from using their equipment by hiding the key and its coded information, which could be electronically copied to let a thief drive your car away. 

DI Knight has also recommended the use of a steering lock, particularly for older models such as classic cars and for people to use a garage if they have one. He also said it was worth investing in tracking devices and 'checking your rear view mirror' to see if anyone was following your car.

He also said West Mercia Police received regular bulletins from the National Vehicle Crime Intelligence Service (NaVCIS), a national policing unit that bridges the gap between policing and industry and helps tackle 'the harm caused by vehicle finance crime and serious, organised crime'.