HIGH-PERFORMANCE tyres worth tens of thousands of pounds have been stolen off the back of a lorry at an East Staffordshire business park.
A team of audacious crooks fled with 82 tyres, each worth between £300 and £500, after cutting the rear curtain of a lorry parked outside the DHL depot at Barton Business Park.
Detectives have appealed for anyone who has been offered quality tyres at knockdown prices or who saw anything suspicious to get in touch.
Inspector Rob Neeson, based at Burton Police Station, said haul of Pirelli tyres is worth between £24,600 and £41,000, but could be sold on for a lot less on the black market.
He said: “The location is quite a busy road so we would hope that someone who has gone by could have noticed something unusual.
“You would assume they would need a large vehicle to take 82 tyres away so if anyone saw occupants in a large vehicle behind a parked-up lorry we would like to hear from them.”
The theft took place after the crooks slipped the 82 tyres off the back of the lorry unnoticed between 10.30pm on Wednesday, March 12, and 6.30am the next morning.
Security cameras captured footage but it is believed thick fog and lights meant the view of the lorry was blocked and not visible.
Insp Neeson added: “If you are being offered high-performance tyres very cheaply then the likelihood is that they are stolen so please contact us.
“People who steal from lorries might travel up and down the routes and have their eye on certain vehicles.
“But tyres are a very unusual thing to steal because where do you dispose of them?
“There’s a market where they could go abroad so they could have been stolen to distribute them elsewhere, but that’s speculation.”
Anyone who saw anything suspicious or who has been offered high-performance Pirelli tyres at for sale well below their market price should call the police on 101.