Thieves don’t only target residential homes or vehicles in mall parking lots when looking to steal loot, especially during the busy holiday season.
Freight being transported by truck that is left in unsecured or unattended locations is increasingly becoming a target for cargo thieves. According to a review by CargoNet, there were 112 reported incidents of cargo theft in the United States and Canada between Dec. 23, 2012 and Jan. 2, 2015.
In the CargoNet review, Texas and Georgia tied for the most freight thefts, logging 20 incidents each during the review period. Arkansas, which usually does not make the list, had the dubious distinction of making it this year, due to a rash of thefts in both 2014 and 2015. In all, the top five states on the list accounted for more than 63 percent of freight thefts during the period, according to the review by the cargo theft protection and recovery services provider.
CargoNet’s research shows that thieves hit truck stops 20 times during the review period. Warehouses were struck 17 times, and parking lots were not immune from theft, either. Thefts were reported from parking lots 15 times during the period.
CargoNet says the average loss due per each theft was $170,487 in United States dollars. In all, thieves made away with over $5 million in goods from 58 trailers and 47 semi-tractors during the review period.
And what did the thieves steal? Food and drink top the list. Thieves targeted meat shipments 23 times. The thieves made away with a variety of clothing, accessories, electronics, tobacco and firearms eight times during the same period.
And since both Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Friday this year, that gives thieves even more time to do their work, security experts caution.
Freightwatch International, a logistics security provider, said the holiday’s also mean more thefts will occur not only on the road, but at facilities loaded with merchandise bound for stores as well.
Thieves target facilities over the holidays for a variety of reasons, according to Freightwatch, International. Hours are often hectic and there are usually fewer employees at work during the period.
Freightwatch International suggests that facility owners and operators let their customers know what their holiday hours are and to review their security protocols to ensure they are meeting industry standards.