Four high-value cargo thefts this month alone – three involving electronics and one of cosmetics – have raised a warning flag for US businesses ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday.
In all three of the electronic thefts the shipments were recovered thanks to the use of GPS tracking technology, but the cosmetics shipment remains at large, says an alert from the Pharmaceutical Cargo Security Coalition (PCSC) which says the incidents seem to be reflect an uptick in criminal activity that should be noted by all industries.
Weekends, and particularly extended holiday weekends, have traditionally been targets for criminals engaged in theft so the PCSC is warning companies to be especially vigilant at this time. The four thefts took place in Ohio, Georgia, Kentucky and North Carolina, but may be associated with the organized cargo theft gangs that have traditionally operated out of South Florida, it notes.
“After a couple of years of relative calm, things seem to be going back to the way they were some time ago,” says the PCSC in the alert, which notes that the modus operandi in the recent cases was very similar.
They involved single driver shipments – in three cases over weekend periods – where the driver stopped at a truck stop and left the vehicle unattended for a brief period. Typically, 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.
“If you have anything on the road (this week in particular) share this intelligence with those both monitoring and transporting your loads,” recommends the PCSC.