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ORGANISED LOOTING ALARMS TRUCK

COMPANIES

MELBOURNE, Aug. 20.

urganisea gangs or hijackers have stolen thousands of pounds worth of sroods in

'siasn ana grac raias on interstate transports in the past fortnight. Losses have become so heavy that some transport drivers have armed them selves with rifles and major companies are preparing to send out their own road patrols. ? ? The hijackers board slow moving transports from utility trucks on hills and 'ride the loads for. several miles while they throw se lected goods overboard. They have made the Hume Highway the*r main hunting ground. A special alert has been flashed to all patrols and police stations between Melbourne and Sydney. Police believe that the i gangs have 'spies' planted at some trans port company depots to give them the 'tip off'

wnen a varaaoie iom la about to leave. The hijackers have per fected such a skilful tech nique in slashing the trans port tarpaulins that many of the thefts have not been discovered until the drivers have reached their destina tions. Colliers Interstate Trans port Ltd. and Rudders Ltd. have been among the hard est hit companies. ColUers alone lost a £2.500 load from one Sydney bound transport last Mon day, and a second major theft was reported at Gun dagai today. Rudders Ltd. have lost E1.000 worth of softgoods from two Melbourne-bound transports in the past fort night. Detectives believe that the hijackers are working In teams of three men to a utility. The utility trails a trans port until it slows down as it mounts a steep hill. A 'jockey' mounts the itility's bonnet and leaps on to the top of the semltrail sr's load. He slashes the

tarpaulin and throws out cartons of soft goods which are picked up by the other gang members. . PoUeobeHeve that sev eral former transport dri ers are ring leaders. NSW police are preparing to keep a close watch on Jugiong Hill, near Can berra, thought to be a pos sible 'ambush point' for the hijackers.

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