Thieves grabbing expensive, hard-to-find truck parts, CargoNet warns

by Today's Trucking

Thieves are expected to focus on some familiar targets over the U.S. Labor Day weekend, but this year they’ll also be targeting expensive and hard-to-find CPC (common powertrain controller) modules from the trucks themselves, CargoNet warns.

The theft prevention and recovery program examined trends between the Thursday before Labor Day to the Wednesday after the holiday weekend from 2017 to 2021, and found the most-stolen goods included shipments of electronic goods like computers and televisions, and household goods like furniture, appliances and cleaning supplies.

Infographic of Labor Day cargo theft
(Infographic: CargoNet)

In 20% of thefts, the property was last known to be secure on the Friday before Labor Day, and 27% of the complaints were reported on the Tuesday after the holiday, when people returned to their trucks.

Thefts were most common at large retail parking lots, truck stops, and warehouses. Targeted locations do vary by state, though, as truck stops were a significant risk location in Texas and Florida, but not in California.

Sophisticated heists

Extended holiday breaks create opportunities for enterprising thieves to plot sophisticated heists. Logistics brokers should be on alert for identity fraud and cargo theft schemes, as these tactics are an increasingly common way to acquire desirable truckload shipments such asĀ copper rods, high-end electronics, appliances, and perishable food products, CargoNet said.

Organizations that are tendering shipments over the internet should verify details of all transactions prior accepting a bid. Shippers should warn motor carriers to verify intended delivery addresses with drivers prior to loading.

Organizations can step up security by arranging for same-day delivery of short-haul shipments, embedding covert tracking devices, and by using high-security locks to prevent trailer burglaries. Drivers should not leave their vehicles or shipments unattended, especially within 400 km of pickup, and watch for any vehicles that appear to be following them.

Noteworthy thefts from previous Labor Day holidays included:

  • $434,379 in apparel stolen from Pomona, CA
  • $417,206 in computer electronics stolen from Ontario, CA
  • $400,000 in vodka stolen from Jacksonville, FL
  • $300,000 in computer electronics stolen from Los Angeles, CA
  • $291,093 in hardware store merchandise stolen from Conley, GA

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