Appeal for witnesses after delivery driver robbery in Warrington
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Police are appealing for witnesses to come forward after a delivery driver was bundled into the back of a van in Warrington and driven to Knowsley.
At around 7.30pm on Monday 7 December the driver, a 45-year-old-man from Prescott, parked his white Ford Transit van on the Starbucks car park at Apollo Park in Westbook where he was due to meet with colleagues.
As he waited two men, both with Liverpool accents, got into his van and forced him to get into the back of the vehicle.
He was then driven to Foxwood Cemetery in Knowsley, at which point the offenders transferred all of the parcels from the van into an awaiting vehicle – possibly a green van.
The man was then left in the middle of the cemetery while both vans drove off at speed.
The stolen van has since been located at an address in Whiston.
Enquiries in relation to the incident are ongoing and officers are keen to hear from anyone who witnessed the incident, or anyone with any information which may aid the investigation.
Detective Constable Caroline Wharmby, from Warrington Local Policing unit said: “This investigation is in its early stages and we are doing all we can to trace the people responsible.
“As part of our enquiries we’re keen to hear from anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information which may aid our investigation. The same goes for anyone with any dashcam footage.
“The incident took place at a busy retail park and there are likely to have been a number of people in the area at the time of the incident who may hold vital information.
“We would also like to hear from a person who was seen walking their dog at Foxwood Cemetery around the time that the driver was released by the offenders.
“Anyone with any information, no matter how small, should call the team beat at Warrington on 101, quoting IML 868563.”
Following the incident officers are also reminding delivery drivers and couriers to play their part, by following a number of simple steps to help reduce their chances of falling victim to similar crimes.
The steps include –
Ensure your vehicle is in proper operating condition.
If you spot a suspicious vehicle following you, do not exit the vehicle, keep doors locked, keep moving, and call the police.
Agree a daily delivery plan with employers or, if independent, with a family member and check in with them on a regular basis. If possible, when out delivering consider using alternative routes rather than always going the same way.
Ensure your mobile phone is fully charged.
If something does not look or feel right, do not make the delivery. Call your employer and explain the circumstances.
Be aware of your surroundings and avoid areas that are not well lit. Park under a streetlight if possible.
Carry a torch to illuminate dark areas and walkways.
If you feel threatened, activate the panic alarm on your vehicle to draw attention to the situation.
Always lock your vehicle - even if you’re only leaving it for a short period of time. It would take a matter of seconds for a thief to get into your van and make off with something valuable.
If your vehicle has windows consider darkening them to prevent passers-by from seeing what’s inside.
Make sure that no valuables are left on display when leaving your courier van (for any amount of time), and fully close all of the windows.
Install a ‘Police follow this van’ sticker on your vehicle to make officers aware of who you are.
If you have a keyless van consider using a key blocking pouch to prevent other people from accessing your vehicle while you are handing over parcels
Consider installing a tracker – if the worst were to occur and your vehicle were to be stolen, a tracker would enable officers to quickly locate it.
Install additional security features – Doors are one of the most vulnerable areas on delivery vans and they can sometimes be forced open, so consider installing a stoplock or a slam lock to help make it harder for criminals to get inside your vehicle.
If an emergency occurs, remain at the scene only if it is safe. Dial 999 and wait for the police to arrive at the scene.
Anyone with any information or footage that may aid the investigation should call Cheshire Constabulary on 101, quoting IML 868563, or give the details via https://www.cheshire.police.uk/ .
Alternatively, information can be reported to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org .