Hot tub heist as CCTV shows gang steal eight £40k hot tubs with forklift

A gang made off with eight hot tubs worth £40,000 in a brazen heist that was captured on CCTV.

The crooks spent 90 minutes loading two trucks full of hot tubs from Swim Spas Yard in Macmerry, East Lothian, with a forklift taken from a building next door.

Each thief even chatted casually to a driver who arrived at the industrial estate to avoid arousing suspicion, the Daily Record reports.

Detectives may have found a vital clue in the hunt for the gang after a witness spotted them changing license plates on the vehicles.

Hot tub boss Kevin Higginson, 50, said the men had "surgical masks and hoodies" on in the footage but appeared to be "very professional."

Mr Higginson said: "On the CCTV, you see two vehicles come in about 8.30pm and three men get out.

"They first cleared a path by moving my industrial buckets and some pallets away. Our internal building is alarmed but the hot tubs were outside, surrounded by a three-metre high fence.

"They realised fairly quickly that there was a forklift parked at the builders next to us, and burst the padlock to that yard."

He said one man then took a forklift before breaking the padlock on the hot tub gate.

The gang then positioned the forklift and filled up one of the vehicles with the spas before moving on to the next.

Mr Higginson said he noticed one of their vehicles had a crane on it and believes the men had "cased the joint and planned to lift the hot tubs with the crane" but the forklift "made it easier and quicker."

It only took the men twenty minutes to set up before they started loading, which according to Mr Higginson, CCTV appeared to show they did very accurately.

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A neighbour in the yard noticed something was "going on," Mr Higginson said and spotted the vehicles nearby where they had stopped.

Kevin said: "We think they stopped to change to different plates and our neighbour made a note of those.

"I presume they got lost and went in a bit of a circle."

Eight of his best-selling Harris hot tubs were stolen in the raid, which each retail for just under £5,000 with dozens of jets, LED lighting and a bluetooth music system.

A Police Scotland spokesman said: "Around 1.30 am on Saturday, police were called following a report of a theft of hot tubs – worth a five-figure sum – from a premises in Macmerry Industrial Estate, Macmerry, overnight.

"Enquiries are continuing."

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