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Gang chased lorries on motorway and “surfed” their way into contents 

PAGE 18 GANG

A daring gang of Fast and Furious style criminals homed in on lorries on the motorway and “surfed” their way into the back of the loads without the drivers even noticing!

Police say the ploy, which involved the thieves climbing out of a sunroof, was as dangerous as it was ingenious with the thieves not worrying in the slightest about the dangers both they and other road users faced.

One false move and the criminals could have died by falling onto the motorway or the cars following the lorries could have crashed into the back, causing a horrendous accident or pile-up.

An incredible video shows how the gang deliberately pick out a lorry carrying mobile phones.

Driving at speed, they close up behind the truck with just inches to spare and then climb through the sunroof, wearing safety harnesses and slings. They then used specialist equipment to open the back of the lorry whilst balancing on the front bonnet.

They then remove the merchandise inside, sometimes handing it over to a second or third car behind them.

“The truck drivers only became aware of the theft when they got to their destination and found the back completely empty,” said a police spokesman.

The daring raids, likened to films in the Fast and Furious film series, happened in Spain, mainly in Madrid.

Ten people have been arrested in the Becerril de la Sierra district of the city.

The lorries picked out always travelled the same route and carried a well-known brand of mobile phones.

Over 470 stolen mobiles have been recovered, together with 2,900 euros and various equipment, including harnesses and slings used by the gang members when balancing on the cars behind the lorries.

Police said the method is known as “surfing” and is believed to have netted the gang hundreds of thousands of pounds. The value of the phones recovered is put at 215,000 euros.

The investigation began in late February when there was an assault en route on a truck. Anaylsis of the tachograph showed the lorry had not stopped, even for a minute, so the theft was committed when it was travelling.

Police managed to identify members of the gang but found they had fled from Spain.

Then, in mid-July, there was a similar attack on another lorry, using exactly the same surfing method.

” As in the previous case, the driver only noticed the theft on arrival at his destination and did not stop at all along the way,” said the spokesman.

The ten suspects were arrested in a house they had rented whilst staying in Spain. One of the cars with a sunroof was found on the site, together with gloves, tools to force open the back doors of the lorry, elastic tensioners, gas bottles and packages from delivery companies.

All ten are from Morocco where the stolen mobile phones were sent.

“The modus operandi used by these criminals is known as surfing. It consists of assaulting trucks with the peculiarity of stealing the merchandise while the transport is in motion,” said the police.

“To execute the robbery three cars are needed, one of them with sunroof. This is the car which is directly behind the lorry and the thieves come out of the sunroof, wearing harnesses and slings. Once they force the security seals of the truck, they gained access into the back without the driver being aware and while the truck is still in motion they empty the merchandise they are carrying.”