HE Services’ Cambridge depot took a phone call for the hire of six excavators and a site dumper, for delivery to a site near Amersham in Buckinghamshire on the afternoon of Friday 4th October 2019.
The order looked like it had come from a legitimate construction company, with the name of the plant buyer and an official order from him on headed paper.
Depot hire manager Adrian Holmes says: “It appeared to be a very genuine hire for an existing customer who had an account. They even sent us through an official order from the regular person who hires in plant and equipment”.
However, depot manager Chris Larcom’s suspicions were aroused after carrying out newly instigated anti-fraud cross-checks to prevent equipment being stolen by bogus hires.
Upon delivery to site which was near Amersham in Buckinghamshire the would-be customers were waiting to receive the plant. But as the plant was being unloaded Thames Valley Police arrested them, later releasing them on bail. The police investigation is on-going.
HE Services put extra security measures in place after a spate of thefts in the southeast of England over the last six months, often by people posing as customers.
HE Services chairman Hugh Edeleanu urged all plant hire companies and owners to be especially vigilant during this increased level of plant and equipment thefts.