A host of London broadcast equipment rental companies are out of pocket to the tune of thousands of pounds following a spate of thefts through fraudulent hires.

Media insurance broker Allan Chapman & James said it had been advised of at least seven incidents in recent weeks involving a company known as Sheesha Productions.

The fraudulent hires included digital cameras and lighting equipment, each with a value of about £10,000.

Allan Chapman & James said the hirer had provided “adequate information” on his identity and address and, on at least one occasion, a reference.

Mike Smith of Alias Smith and Singh, one of the companies affected, said: “They successfully used us a few months ago, passed our checks and gave the kit back. This time we lost around £20,000 worth of kit. We have very strict guidelines. They must be very experienced to find a way around all the hire company procedures.”

The Police have been informed.