Ram Raiders bin stolen HDDs

Literally

Ram Raiders

They planned their heist to perfection. First, there were two getaway cars and a flatbed lorry to steal. Then, over several days, bolts were weakened on a panel the metal fence surrounding the target company's premises. This was to provide an alternative escape route, just in case the police turned up.

The precaution was unnecessary. The robbers used the flatbed lorry to ram-raid the building, occupied by specialist hard drive repairer 1st Computer Traders, in Tamworth, Staffordshire.

They smashed through the glass-fronted lobby, driving the back wall six feet into the store room of the hard drive repair specialists. The sensor alarm attached to the wall fell down among the 2,000 hard drives on racks attached to the displace wall and promptly stopped working. So the smoke alarms failed to go off, and no alert was sent to the police.

The ram raiders got even luckier: the digital ccTV had captured the team making away with approx. 1,000 HDDs, worth £80K+. But when 1st Computer Trader staffers viewed the evidence a couple of days after the robbery, the ccTV promptly recorded over the evidence as they watched. The manufacturer had stated that the machine kept seven days worth of footage. All that remained were two stills captured by the staff as they watched the robbers hurling the hard drives into plastic bins.

Director Simon Steggles said: "The robbery was a brilliantly clever set-up but they were idiots in the way they handled the hard drives. How many will be working after this?"

Insurers have refused to pay up for the stolen hard drives, citing the failure of the alarm system. "We are a small company, so the loss has hurt, but we're recovering," Steggles said.

Police have told 1st Computer Traders that know who the robbers are - a professional gang targeting computer shops in the West Midlands. But they do not have the evidence to nail them. But West Midlands resellers and disties, beware. The raid was more than a month ago, but if any of you are offered a big consignment of broken hard drives, give Simon a call on +44 (0) 1827 55555. ®