POSING as builders, thieves stole £3,000 of scaffolding from a building in Southampton.
The gang dismantled the poles from a temporary construction site in Milner Court in Shirley.
They then piled them up on the back of a flat-bed truck before driving off.
Police believe the scaffolding could be sold as scrap.
Details of the theft last Thursday, between 5am and 7am, have been released as police step up their enquiries and appeal for witnesses.
PC Jordan Williams, at Shirley Police Station, said: “I am appealing for anyone who saw a vehicle being loaded up.
Although early morning, many people would be leaving for work and so would have been passing.
“The people responsible showed no fear of being seen as they made lots of noise when loading their vehicle.
“I am also asking if anyone knows the whereabouts of the scaffolding now. All the poles were painted green on the ends and are quite distinctive.
One of the ladders stolen was bright orange and marked with blue paint.
“If you know who is responsible or where the stolen property is now, please contact me directly or Crimestoppers anonymously.
“This is a high value theft which will have an impact on the business concerned.”
As reported in the Daily Echo, thieves stole scaffolding in a similar way from a block of flats in Chelverston Crescent, Lordshill, in March.
Anyone with information can contact PC William at Shirley Police Station on 101.