Grimsby seafood raid: ‘professional and highly planned operation’, say police – Fishupdate.com

Grimsby seafood raid: ‘professional and highly planned operation’, say police Published:  29 June, 2006

POLICE were today carrying out detailed forensic checks on four vehicles stolen in a major seafood raid on a Grimsby cold store at the weekend.

The lorries were found abandoned – and empty of their cargo – in various towns in Lancashire including Wigan and Oldham several hours after the robbery. One vehicle is still missing.

Seafood, believed to be prawns, high value fish and other shellfish worth at least £600,000 were taken in a violent attack on the HSH Cold store in Grimsby in the early hours of Sunday morning. This, coupled with the value of the lorries puts the haul value at a figure approaching £1million.

The cold store manager, his wife and his six-year-old son were held hostage along with a security guard as the out-of -town raiders, their faces covered in balaclavas, cut through a perimeter fence, raided the store and stole five vehicles packed with seafood.

They then drove in apparent convoy along the main motorway in the early hours into Yorkshire and across to the Lancashire region where the vehicles were emptied and then abandoned in at least four towns. Det. Chief Inspector Rick Proctor who is leading the investigation said he was confident this was a professional and highly planned operation. “They assaulted a security guard and falsely imprisoned a family and their young child without any regard.”

He said the manager, his family and the guard had been deeply traumatised by the incident and he has appealed for witnesses to the event.

Police are convinced the raiders did not come across to Grimsby on a speculative mission. The high degree of planning and the ruthlessness of the attack indicates they knew exactly what they were after and almost certainly had several willing customers for the seafood haul at the other end. Seafood is not a commodity than can be held onto for a long period. Officers hope that careful examination over the next few days of the lorries will yield some vital clues.

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