A TERRIFIED driver was abducted when masked raiders wielding a lump hammer hijacked his vehicle.
The balaclava-clad trio smashed their way into the cab of the lorry, which had been parked up at Shorten Brook Way, Altham Industrial Estate, overnight on Monday, ready to make a delivery to computer company Micro Peripherals.
The gang, who have Liverpool accents, burst into the lorry just after 3am on Tuesday and threatened the 58-year-old driver before placing a pillow over his head and driving him away from the area.
He was then bundled into the boot of a dark saloon car where a further two masked men, also with Liverpool accents, drove him away.
He was dumped in the Billinge area of Wigan around 6am and was taken to Wigan Police Station by a passer-by.
The raiders stole more than £130,000-worth of computer equipment, including 48 Olympic 19" monitors, 48 Olympic 20" monitors, 360 VA912, 19" monitors, 40 17" silver/black LCD display monitors, 32 19" LCD monitors, 32 20" LCD monitors and 192 black multimedia LCD monitors.
The tractor unit of the vehicle was found shortly after 7am, burned out, at Hardwick Grange, Woolston, Warrington, but the trailer is still missing.
It has been described as a blue 45' curtain-sided unit with Norfolk Line written on the sides and rear in white lettering.
Detective Inspector Ian Critchley said: "This has been a particularly traumatic experience for the lorry driver, who has been threatened with a weapon and driven away against his will before being bundled into the boot of a car. The people responsible for these attacks are dangerous individuals and we are asking for the public's assistance in providing information to us."
This is the fourth time that a lorry has been hijacked on the industrial estate in a year and police are linking this latest attack to an incident in December, where a German lorry driver was attacked and forcibly taken to the Leigh area where he was dumped. A large number of computers were taken and the trailer was later found burned out in Manchester.
Police have warned delivery drivers to the industrial estate not to park on the roadside at night but to go as directed to a secure compound a short distance away from the area.
Anyone with information should contact Accrington CID on 353742 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.