Arrests have been made following the theft of more than 500 metric tons of high density polyethylene, with a sale value of 600,000 pounds ($998,000).
The material, which belonged to Biesterfeld Petroplas, was taken from a Runcorn, England, warehouse operated by AB Storage sometime over the weekend of 22-23 February. The thieves broke into the site and hotwired forklift trucks in order to load up their trucks.
“Over the past week there has been a significant material recovery which has led to two arrests by Cheshire Police,” the company said in a statement. “The response received from the industry has been greatly appreciated, and has led to a large number of leads for the police to investigate
“There is, however, still a quantity unaccounted for and the police enquiry is continuing.”
According to Frank Keddle, of claims assessor Wendt & Company, the gang that carried out the robbery clearly had knowledge of the plastics market.
“They cleared away salt, which was being stored in the warehouse, to get the plastic, so they were looking for it specifically,” he explained.
He estimated that it would have taken around 25 to 30 articulated trailer loads to move the plastic.
Biesterfeld Petroplas of Abingdon, England, immediately offered a reward of up to 50,000 pounds ($85,000) for information leading to the recovery of the Marlex-branded HDPE – grades 5502BN, 50100 and TR131 – which was packed in 25 kilogram bags.
DC Deborah Morgan from the Cheshire Police added: "We are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or was in the area at the time and may have seen the items being moved from the site to contact us immediately — this would have taken some time to remove from the area.
"We would also urge anyone who may know where the items are – or who may be approached with a view to buying the items – to come forward. The plastic was in the form of beads and packaged in white plastic bags.”