A Devizes firm has had three lorries and clothing banks worth more than £20,000 stolen overnight.

Thieves struck at Devizes Textiles, based at Garden Trading Estate off London Road, Devizes, and stole three hook loader, or skip type, lorries each with a clothing bank on board.

The lorries were in the compound of Devizes Textiles and two of them are specialist lorries for use at roll on, roll off recycling sites.

The other, a Mercedes seven and a half tonne vehicle, was used within the yard.

The clothing banks on the two specialist lorries were empty.

The lorries, one a Mercedes Ateto and the other a Daf, were due to be driven to recycling centre sites in Swindon, Stanton St Quinton and Keynsham to collect textiles. The yard lorry had some clothes in its bank.

The theft happened between 7pm on Wednesday and 5.30am this morning. Other lorries had left the site as normal before the three lorries were stolen.

The ignition keys to three lorries were not stolen, leading Danny Williamson, contracts manager at Devizes Textiles, to suspect the thieves broke the steering locks.

He also said one of the lorries had a tracking device on it and that was disabled by the thieves.

The theft of the lorries caused the company major disruption today and it was unable to complete some collections.

Mr Williamson estimated that the two specialist lorries are valued at between £8-10,000 each. The yard lorry is not as much value although the lifting gear on it is valued at about £5,000.

Mr Williamson said: “We are completely shocked at the theft of the lorries and the clothing banks.

"We have had pilfering happen at some of our static clothing banks but this is on a different scale, this is a real shock.

"The green clothing banks are quite distinctive with the Devizes Textiles names on the side. It’s possible the banks might have been dumped by the thieves so we are asking the public to keep a look out for them.”

He said the company would be hiring lorries until it could get replacements. He said a specialist lorry would cost about £30,000 new or between £12-15,000 used.

Each clothing bank’s capacity is about two tonnes, which would be worth between £500 and £900.

Devizes Textiles services about 17 recycling sites in Wiltshire, Cheltenham, Keynsham and Torbay. In Wiltshire these are mainly sites run by Hills.

The company, which employs about 30 people, also works with charities including the Wiltshire Air Ambulance, British Heart Foundation and the RSPCA to collect textiles and the charities are paid a percentage of the value of the clothes. The clothes are exported to Africa and Europe.

Wiltshire Police believe the three lorries were driven off in convoy from Devizes Textiles in the direction of Avebury.

A spokesman said: “At this stage it is not clear to what extent the theft of these vehicles was planned and if it is linked to other cases. We are continuing with our enquiries which includes reviewing CCTV in the area.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 101.