Thieves use lorry to steal three giant skips from Woodford Trading Estate

Suspected metal thieves used a lorry to steal three giant skips worth more than £10,000 from the Woodford Trading Estate on Thursday night.

They made separate trips over more than three hours to the site in Southend Road, Woodford Green, to take the industrial containers one by one.

At 6m long at almost 3m high, a skip loader was needed to lift them.

The thieves made the first visit at 11.20pm, the second at 1am and the third at 2.45am.

Unwanted rubbish was left tipped out of the containers on to the forecourt of Summit Windows Ltd.

Assistant Zoe Green said the glazing firm has been without a skip since the theft.

She added: “If anyone saw them I don’t think they would have thought anything of it.

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“What some do is grind off the registration number, re-paint them and sell them on.

“The skip firm is insured but we have had to order another one.”

Curtis Heatwole, manager of International Decorative Surfaces, said workers arrived at work at 6.30am on Friday morning to discover their skip was missing.

Mr Heatwole added: “When somebody starts to turn up in the middle of the night, there’s not that many people to question it.

“It didn’t trigger our alarm system so no one thought there was anything untoward.

“I haven’t heard of anything like it in the two years I’ve been here. It was a bit of a shock.”

A trader from another firm, who did not want to be named, called the three-hour spree “outrageous”.

He added: “How can a 40 yard skip lorry drive around Redbridge at 1am in the morning and not be noticed by the police?

“The skips are worth less than £200 each as scrap metal but we, as businesses, have to pay our hire companies for the replacement costs.”

No arrests have been made.

Anyone with information should call Redbridge Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting reference 4416469/13.