Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Haulage Operators Asked to Watch for Thieving Arsonists

Fire Attack Apparently Mindless
Shipping News Feature

UK – UK Hauliers are being asked to keep an eye out for a stolen trailer and Hyster forklift after they were stolen on Saturday night by thieves from AET Transport Services, an abnormal load and temperature-controlled cargo specialist of Holton Heath, Dorset. The criminals then went on an arson rampage, destroying another six trucks and five trailers, causing an estimated £1 million worth of damage.

The stolen trailer is a blue, four-axled Faymonville, 45ft long with extendable ramps at the back and is sign written with ‘AET Transport Services’. It also has the fleet number T18. The blue and white Hyster forklift truck was on the back of the trailer.

The arson attack was particularly worrying in that the thieves came to the scene equipped with incendiaries which were then placed in the vehicles that burnt, causing concerns amongst fire fighters attending the attack that drivers may have been asleep in the cabs and become fatalities. Fortunately, no staff were at the depot at the time.

Speaking to Handy Shipping Guide one of the directors of AET, Sally Trotter, said that they were mystified over the attack. “If they had just stolen the trailer it would have been bad enough, but to burn the other vehicles was just madness,” she said.

“It’s terrible, people just don’t consider the hard work that has been put in to build up a company and then they destroy it on a whim.”

However Andrew Trotter, boss of AET, confirmed that the vandalism would not stop his business and has already taken delivery of hired vehicles to cover the company’s work. Speaking to the local paper, the Bournemouth Daily Echo, he said: “I feel like somebody has ripped my soul out.”

“We have to carry on. We have been going for 32 years. We had a vehicle stolen in 1990 or 1991 but this is the first time we have had anything like this.”

The particularly vindictive nature of this attack should be a grim warning to all hauliers to look to their own security arrangements. The apparent mindlessness of the vandalism involved shows how easy it is for criminals to cause a massive amount of disruption and heart ache should it enter their minds to do so.

Anyone with any information on this crime should call Dorset Police on 01202 222222 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

(pic: Faymonville trailer similar to the one stolen)