A COLOSSAL haul of plastic worth more than £600,000 has been stolen from a warehouse in Runcorn in a meticulously planned operation.

The scale of the daring raid has left the owners and detectives baffled.

A gang swooped on a unit run by AB Storage Limited, in Manor Park and escaped with 30 trailer loads of valuable synthetic beads packaged in 25 kilo white plastic bags.

A £50,000 reward is now being offered for the return of the precious cargo.

Insurance investigator Frank Keddle, of Wendt & Company, said: “A whole gang must have been involved. It would have taken them around five hours to load it all up.

“They had to use a fork lift truck to gain access to this product and move it around.

“There was 600 tonnes, all on pallets.

“They knew what they were looking for. It was targetted. It is quite clear these people have an outlet for it.

“The owner was quite shocked. Nobody knew what was being stored there.”

The burglary happened between 4pm on Friday, February 21and 7am on Monday, February 24.

Three people work at the warehouse, a director, fork lift truck driver and part-time employee.

The Marlex branded high density polyethylene is raw material used to make plastic bottles, film, pipe and sheet.

It was being stored by Biesterfeld Petroplas.

Mr Keddle added: “They are all identifiable products and have manufacturer batch numbers on them.

“Some of these bags were broken. When it spills, it is very dangerous as you get tiny minute pebbles which are like rollers and go all over the place. They are very distinctive. If anyone sees anything like that, I’d like to hear from them.

“We have alerted all trade outlets.

“Somebody knows something. We hope this reward may help. Perhaps whoever did the trucking might come forward.”

Anyone with information can call Mr Keddle on 07768 645891.

Police officers are following up several lines of enquiry including checking CCTV footage, number plate recognition cameras, and forensic enquiries.

It is not known if one HGV or a convoy of lorries was used.

DC Deborah Morgan said: "We are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or was in the area at the time and may have seen the items being moved from the site to contact us immediately. This would have taken some time to remove from the area.

"We are also appealing to anyone who may have seen anyone acting suspiciously in the area.

"We would urge anyone who may know where the items are or who may be approached with a view to buying the items to come forward.”

Anyone with any information is urged to call Cheshire Police on 101.