PCSC Holiday Alert: Uptick in High Value Cargo Thefts

To Members of all Industries:

Since the first of November there have been at least four “high-value” cargo thefts that have occurred in the mid-eastern part of the United States - that are worthy to take note of. Three of the thefts involved the same commodity (electronics). All are worth mentioning to everyone who ships – particularly with the Thanksgiving holiday knocking on our doorstep.

In all three of the electronic thefts there was a complete recovery, as all three shipments were actively being tracked using GPS (Sensitech) technology. In each instance the victim, the trucking firm, the GPS service provider, and law enforcement all worked in concert to recover the loads. In the latest two instances PCSC members Bobby Motley (Kentucky State Police) and John Cannon (Georgia State Patrol) and their personnel were instrumental in the shipment recoveries and subsequent investigations. Unfortunately (and this is no fault of law enforcement) no one, at this point, has been taken into custody as of yet.

It’s important to take note of where these occurred and the methods that were used. Those methods mirror what FTL cargo theft victims in the past have routinely seen. Single driver shipments, in three cases over weekend periods, where the driver stops at a truck stop and leaves his vehicle unattended for a brief period of time. The thieves steal the entire rig, attempt to swap out the original tractor, and bring it to another location to let it “sit” - to see if anyone will come for it (essentially to check if a tracking device is active on the tractor, trailer, or inside the shipment).

  • First weekend in November – State of Ohio (this is all that is available at this time)
  • November 14th, a Tuesday, Jackson, Georgia. Flying J Travel Center off Interstate 75. Tractor and trailer (apart) were recovered less than a mile from the point of theft
  • November  19th, a Sunday, truck stop in Hillview (just outside of Shepardsville) Kentucky off Interstate 65.  Vehicle was recovered in Portland, Tennessee (truck stop 122 miles south on Interstate 65)

 

On top of that, this past Friday, November 17th, a full TT load of cosmetics was stolen from a Wal-Mart parking lot near Oxford, North Carolina – off of Interstate 95. The tractor was swapped out by the thieves and recovered a short distance from the actual theft. The trailer and its contents remain at large.

All the LE folks I’ve spoken with over the last 24 hours have marveled at how much of an “uptick” there has been in this type of activity, just in recent months. Most feel these can all be associated with the organized cargo theft gangs that have traditionally operated out of South Florida. After a couple of years of relative calm, things seem to be going back to the way they were some time ago.   

We all need to take note of this – no matter what type of commodity you are shipping. If you have anything on the road (this week in particular) share this intelligence with those both monitoring and transporting your loads. Don’t be a victim. Be proactive. Follow the suggestions in the attached correspondence.

If you do suffer a loss get the information to law enforcement as fast as you can. Quick transfer of information, along with an established supply chain security program - that includes the likes of covert GPS tracking - were things that saved those three electronic loads.

Chuck Forsaith

Senior Director Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition              

Mobile: 401-623-1344

Email: cforsaith@hda.org

Website: www.hda.org

 

 

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