PlayStation 5 consoles are reportedly among the goods that have been stolen in a wave of UK delivery lorry raids targeting luxury goods in the run up to Christmas.
According to The Times, nearly 30 “rollerover raids” have been reported by police this year and haulage companies and drivers have been warned to increase their security.
The raids involve gangs using at least three cars to box in a moving lorry at speeds of up to 50mph. One thief then climbs out of the rear vehicle through a sunroof, before forcing open the rear doors and throwing out the goods.
One career criminal told The Times that thieves were increasingly targeting goods in transit because of better security elsewhere in the supply chain.
Several of these raids have targeted luxury goods such as PS5 consoles, televisions and mobile phones, the report claims.
Last month a lorry carrying £5 million of Apple products was forced off the M1. The previous month, more than 200 televisions worth £136,000 were reportedly stolen from a distribution centre.
PlayStation 5 at retail
Chrys Rampley, a former security manager at the Road Haulage Association, told the Times that the recent increase in online shopping had put “more vulnerable” drivers in vans at risk. They were often hired as casual workers and had no security training, she said.
Lorries are being targeted for their high-value goods, she claimed, and gangs have been getting inside information. “Somebody must know when and where that vehicle is and it can’t be just random that you are going to attack that. Somebody has done some tipping off.”
Last month dozens of UK-based Amazon customers claimed that their PS5 consoles did not arrive as scheduled on the console’s November 19 launch date, despite being marked as delivered by couriers.
Many consumers reported receiving erroneous items in place of their PS5 consoles, such as kitchen appliances and cat food, or even empty boxes
The issue became widespread enough to draw the attention of mainstream media including the BBC, which featured the issue during its consumer rights segment of The One Show, which is watched by up to five million viewers each week.
Many of the Amazon UK customers who had their PS5 pre-orders go missing have alleged foul play on the part of delivery drivers, with one even filming their courier failing to deliver the next-gen console (Amazon later claimed it had cut ties with the driver).
At the time, a spokesperson for Amazon apologised for the failed deliveries and promised to investigate the issue.
Last week Amazon UK told customers whose PlayStation 5 pre-orders went missing this month that they would reserve new consoles for them.