A gang-of-six went to extreme lengths to hijack a lorry and swipe 2,000 top-of-the-range gaming laptops - worth a whopping £1.3m.
The crooks ambushed the driver as he slept in his cab while they stripped down 2,000 boxes of Medion Erazer P Series and X Series models - then set the lorry on fire.
The incident on January 5 occurred at between 4am and 5am when a dark coloured Audi hatchback approached a grey HGV with a blue cab which was parked up on Shorten Brook Drive in Altham, where it had been overnight.
Four men have got out of the vehicle, the cab window was smashed and the driver was hit to the head.
At between 5am and 6-30 am he was then driven in the truck to a location outside a business premises on Underbank Way on the Link 665 Business Park in Haslingden.
It was here that the contents of the truck, around 2,000 boxed Medion Erazer P Series and X Series model gaming laptops were transferred into a DAF CF class 2 truck (pictured), with a reflective stripe down the side of the cab and curtains. The vehicle made off in an unknown direction.
The cab of the HGV was set alight and the victim was dropped off in a car on a track at Saddleworth near to junction 22 of the M62 at around 7am.
DS Melissa Kelly of East CID, said: “The lorry driver was subjected to an extremely terrifying ordeal which included being assaulted. Fortunately he sustained relatively minor injuries and is now recovering.
“We believe that there are at least six men involved in this crime. They have used a HGV truck and at least one car to commit this offence and now have a large number of laptops in their possession. They were moving the goods at Link 665 Business Park for around one hour so someone must have seen something.
“They and their associates will be talking about the theft and making efforts to sell on the laptops. If you have been offered these for sale or you any information at all that may assist us, please make contact as soon as possible.
“I would also ask people to review any dash cam footage that might have captured the offenders.”
Three of the men are described as black, between 30 to 40 years old and were wearing dark clothes. One was wearing a baseball cap. A fourth man is described as being of Middle Eastern appearance with stubble. They all had short black hair.
Anyone with information can call us on 101 quoting incident reference number 149 of January 5th. Alternatively Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously on 0800 555 111 or online at Crimestoppers-uk.org.