Criminals have stolen an estimated £3 million worth of engines from Jaguar Land Rover’s Solihull plant during a Six minute movie-style heist.
The police believe that a stolen HGV lorry was used to steal the massive haul of high end car parts on Tuesday night, the criminals carried out the heist right in front of security cameras.
A JLR spokesman said: “We can confirm that we are working closely with West Midlands Police to investigate the theft of engines from the Solihull manufacturing plant.
“A reward is on offer to anyone who has information which leads to the successful recovery of these engines.
“It would be inappropriate for us to make any further comment whilst this investigation is ongoing.”
Stunned staff say that a lorry tractor unit arrived at the Solihull Lode Lane depot at 10.30pm on Tuesday and entered through the security-manned D1 gate, the lorry then proceeded to the Lagoons depot where it hitched up to a trailer containing the car engines, before driving out.
The same tractor unit is said to have returned to the same site just a couple of hours later, hitched up to a second trailer unit filled with engines and made off.
A staff member of the JLR Solihull plant said, “They just hooked up the trailers. They were in and out in just six minutes with the first theft. The whole place is in uproar about it.”
They added: “Later that night the same lorry came back and did it all over again. It attached another wagon and then it drove out past the security guards and that wagon was not seen again all night.
“But we have heard that the driver had the yellow documents he needed so he could show the security guards on the way out, without having to be searched.
“He could already of had them on him when he entered the plant, or perhaps he got them when in there.
“The engines that are gone are dealt with by Land Rover employees, they are usually stored in a building. The ones that have been taken were already in trailers. Either they were due to go somewhere or were due to be moved somewhere on site.”
The estimated value of the engines believed to be £3 million makes this the largest theft the car manufacturing giant has suffered, management tried to keep it under wraps for as long as possible, but staff were aware something big had happened.
An employee said: “We are told the total value was closer to £5 million. If that is true, then the wagons must have been full. About 40 engines can fit in a wagon.
“The heist had been kept under wraps. We believe that only senior security staff and management have known about it, they are shocked at how it has happened.
“The company pulled in all the managers to a meeting to find out what had gone wrong. The ordinary workers probably knew nothing about it.
“The site is clearly not as secure as it should be.”
It is believed that the stolen engines were unloaded from the trailer units in Coventry, an inside job has not been ruled out.