Often called the victimless crime, due to the lack of personal casualties attached to the crime beyond the frustrated business owners of the transportation industry and the helpless insurance companies forced to pay, Cargo Crime (e.g. truck hijacking) is on the rise and so are the associated costs.
As companies struggle with increasing insurance premiums and rising losses, the public remains dramatically unaware of the annual 10 to 30 billion dollar Criminal industry that is plaguing the North American business landscape. Our media’s obsession with front page victims ensures that the reporting of these incidents barely make the last page of most publications. The reality remains that Cargo Crime is and continues to be a key driver in economic loss to all aspects of businesses ranging from clothing and electronics to more obscure items such as baby food and linens.
Although these incidents are well known and well documented by the local authorities entrusted with resolving them, the largest advantage these highly organized criminal groups have on their side is a lack of public funding and resources and unfortunately it doesn’t appear that these challenges will be resolved anytime soon.
Cargo Theft: The New Highway Robbery
Boosting trucks laden with pharmaceuticals is a low-tech, low-risk road to riches for organized criminals
By Daniel Grushkin
At twilight on June 17, 2009, Ricky Gene McNew pulled his plum-red big rig into a TravelCenters of America (TA) truck stop in Denmark, Tenn. McNew had been driving all afternoon, starting from Louisville (Ky.), and hauling $10 million in pharmaceuticals. He was bound for Memphis, to the warehouse of a medical supply wholesaler. McNew filled his tank and headed into the truck stop for a shower. When he came out, his truck was gone.
The thieves had stolen goods worth about 100 times the average taken in a bank robbery, and there wasn’t a single witness. McNew’s cell phone had been inside the truck, along with the spare key, so he had to go into the cashier to call his dispatcher. The dispatcher called the owner of the trucking company, Steadfast Transcontinent. Read more…