LORRY hijackers attached a cigarette-laden trailer to their get-away vehicle at Hapsford services half way through subjecting its driver to a five hour ordeal.
On Thursday, August 7, two conmen posed as legitimate road enforcers and ordered a lorry to pull over on the M53 near Ellesmere Port.
The lorry, from a transport company in Preston, had collected a trailer from Deeside and was heading for Birkenhead.
At some point, a Ford Galaxy, purporting to be from the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency, illuminated a sign instructing the haulier to follow it.
The lorry driver duly stopped near junction 7 of the M53 at Ellesmere Port when he was ordered to continue his journey to Birkenhead docks, with the Ford Galaxy following. At Birkenhead, the trailer was swapped for one containing thousands of pounds of cigarettes.
Police spokesperson Rachel Hayes added the two men next followed the lorry to Hapsford services, on the M56, where the cigarette-laden trailer was attached to the offenders’ own vehicle.
They then subjected the bewildered driver to what is believed to be a five-hour ordeal across the Pennines before dumping him in Killingholme in Humberside.
Police are still unclear whether the two men used a weapon or threat of violence to force the lorry driver to follow their demands.
He was found unharmed, but very shocked and distressed.
This Thursday, police will be stopping motorists on the same route where the driver was accosted in Ellesmere Port to speak to drivers who may have witnessed the hijacking.
Cheshire Police are appealing for information about the robbery and have asked people to contact them on 01244 613131 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.