Expert calls for team effort to fight cargo theft

by Abdul Latheef

Garry Robertson

TORONTO, Ont. – An insurance claims investigations expert is calling for a coordinated effort by all stakeholders to stamp out the rising cargo theft bleeding the Canadian trucking industry.

“Working together, we are going to be able to have a really good impact on cargo theft,” said Garry Robertson, Manager of the Northbridge Claims Special Investigations Unit.

The law enforcement, the trucking industry, the insurance industry and all other stakeholders should team up to fight the menace, he told Truck News in an interview last week following the release of a mid-year white paper by Northbridge Insurance.

“No one group is going to be able to do it on its own.”

He said team work had paid off in jurisdictions such as California and Arizona, U.S. states with high rates of cargo thefts.

Robertson also said that the first half of 2019 witnessed a shift in thefts in Canada, with thieves targeting trucks and leaving behind the cargo, especially in the western region.

He said police in Ontario were able to make a small dent in cargo thefts this year by arresting a large number of suspects, but he cautioned against complacence.

“I think the shift is going to be short-lived, to be honest with you. I think we’re going to see a movement back to cargo relatively soon,” Robertson said.

Another trend he has noticed over the past few years is the emergence of new groups of criminals targeting the trucking industry.

“When you look at the definition of organized crime, you have to kind of stay away from the old traditional ideas,” he said.

“It is not necessarily traditional Mafia style. When we say organized crime now, it is organized groups of individuals made up of every type of organization.”

The trucks being stolen are mostly older models of Freightliners and Volvos, which are then cut up for parts, he said.


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