A WIGAN lorry driver was kidnapped, bound and then dumped miles from his cab by masked thugs.
Police have launched a manhunt after the terrifying early hours ambush, which saw the distressed 32-year-old victim abandoned on a remote country lane.
The trucker, who has not been named, had been tied up and bundled into the back of a van, after first being forced to re-route his own HGV. He was then dumped from the van in St Helens.
Detectives say the man was nearing the end of a journey, delivering freight from Yorkshire to Warrington, when the robbers struck at 3am on Friday, August 12.
He was travelling along Winwick Lane in Warrington when he suddenly found his way blocked by a man wearing a balaclava, who was standing in the middle of the road.
As the victim slammed on the brakes, another man, who was also masked, climbed into the cabin and then threatened him with violence if he did not re-route the vehicle. He was forced to drive the lorry to Sandy Brow Lane, in Warrington, where he was then tied with cable and forced into the rear of a van, which abandoned him in St Helens.
He is said to have been left badly shaken, but physically unharmed by his ordeal.
The lorry was later found abandoned on Sandy Brow Lane, with half of its load missing; the nature of the contents have not been disclosed by police.
Officers today urged potential witnesses to come forward with any information they can offer.
The offenders have been described as white, and both wore motorbike balaclavas. While one man spoke with a south Yorkshire accent, the other sounded like he was from the St Helens or Warrington area.
Anyone who witnessed the incident or has any information, which might assist officers with their enquiries, is urged to call Cheshire Police on 0845 458 0000, quoting incident number 142 of August 12. Information can also be left on 0800 555111.