WITNESSES of a £1 million lorry hijack have come forward after police staged a reconstruction of the moment a gang subjected the driver to a terrifying ordeal.
In a bid to jog road users’ memories, officers hunting the four men arranged for a cab and trailer similar to the vehicle targeted to trace the route it took a week before.
Police timed the reconstruction for last Thursday, exactly a week after the lorry was ambushed at junction 7 of the M53, at Ellesmere Port, on Thursday, August 7.
A genuine VOSA (Vehicle and Operators Services Agency) car drove in front of the lorry just as a bogus VOSA vehicle had done during the elaborate heist.
Officers manned Netherpool Road either side of the slip road roundabout to question motorists who could have been in the area at the time.
Investigating officer DS Nigel Parr said: “We got quite a few interesting leads and I believe this exercise was thoroughly worthwhile.
“We’re really pleased with the results but there’s still a lot of work to do to. We’d still urge people to come forward with any information no matter how insignificant they may think it is.”
A £50,000 reward is available for anyone with vital information on the crime.
A lorry from a transport company in Lancashire collected a trailer from Deeside and was on its route along the M53 to Birkenhead Docks.
At some point, a Ford Galaxy liveried up as a VOSA vehicle pulled in front of the lorry and illuminated its sign to say ‘follow me’. The 46-year-old driver from Lancashire obliged, stopping near junction 7 of the M53.
The driver was forced to continue his journey to Birkenhead Docks where he exchanged his trailer for one containing £1 million worth of cigarettes.
The offenders then followed the lorry to Hapsford Services where the trailer was put on the offenders own and they made off.
The driver and his cab were taken to and left abandoned in Killingholme, Humberside.
Anyone with information contact police on 0845 458 0000 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.