Every morning there are new reports of cargo being stolen, obtained either through fraudulent documents or just plain grand theft. BTU has covered the growing meat packing thefts recently, but here are other instances of general freight thefts.
Million-dollar freight thefts plague California constantly
A pair of thefts in California begin this overview. The first involves a gang of thieves who were arrested in conjunction with over $9 million in stolen goods. A two-year long investigation by the California Highway Patrol’s Cargo Theft Interdiction Program (CHP CTIP), Los Angeles Airport Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department served multiple search and arrest warrants.
Five suspects were arrested, with more than $1 million in stolen cargo recovered and nearly $250,000 in cash seized. Items recovered included products from Google, MSI, Hewlett Packard, Samsung, Dell, Microsoft, Sonos, Sony, Apple, Asus, Ring, Max Mara and other brands.
“This is another example of the incredible results possible when law enforcement agencies come together to stop these criminals. This case has required a tremendous amount of hard work and dedication by all involved, and we are grateful for their incredible efforts throughout this multi-year investigation.”CHP GGD Chief Chris Costigan in a press release
Not to be outdone, Chino Police also had their hands full with freight thieves. Jose Portillo, 40, Luis Garcia, 38, and Daniel Altamirano, 24, were arrested on August 17 and booked on burglary charges. Chino Police say that the three were at least partially responsible for a string of nighttime cargo thefts in Chino and surrounding towns that resulted in more than $250,000 in merchandise being stolen.
Earlier this month, investigators conducted surveillance in the 700 block of Cameo Court in Pomona and identified a Pomona home where they believed the stolen items were being fenced. Based on that, officers served warrants at homes in Cameo Court and Catalpa Place. Police searched those homes and three vehicles, and found what officers called “truckloads of stolen property” including clothes, car parts and electric scooters and bikes.
Texas is a big target for cargo theft rings
Texas is a major freight hub in the United States, with multiple interstates and US highways crisscrossing the state. On September 8, 2022, Antonio Marcell Lewis, 41, Samuel Earl Lewis, 36, Aaron Lincoln, 43, and Ricka Smith, 37, were indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit theft from interstate shipments passing through the Lone Star State.
According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Texas and the FBI, Antonio Lewis and Lincoln both worked as shipping and receiving employees for a department store distribution center in Corsicana.
The two allegedly stole fitness trackers and accessories destined for retail stores, unloading them from freight trailers by the pallet load and placing them near the facility’s loading docks.
Later on, Smith would meet up with Antonio Lewis and his brother Samuel Lewis to unload the trackers. The brothers would then sell the fitness trackers to unauthorized retailers.
The scheme allegedly took place over the course of four months, netting the participants more than $425,000. If convicted, each defendant faces up to five years in prison.
There is a big difference between a septic pumper and a fuel tanker
This story comes to us from the Midland Daily News and you just have to wonder what the thieves’ plans for this truck were. A septic pumper, a truck specifically designed to clear out septic tanks that are over-filled with poo, was stolen Friday night in Coleman, Michigan.
The truck’s owners, Andy Schroeder and Kevin Burns, wonder why someone would want to steal their truck. Due to the way the truck operates, they knew it had to be someone with commercial driver experience that stole it.
The Class 7 10-wheeler pumper is a vocational work vehicle, meaning that it is designed specifically for the task at hand. And that task is hauling around 2,500 gallons of poop.
Midland County Sheriff Myron Greene said investigators are working to clear the air on the theft and return the truck to its owners. But why take that truck, considering the crapy cargo?