Cargo theft in first quarter similar to same period in 2020

Updated May 3, 2021
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Cargo theft recording firm CargoNet reports similar levels of theft activity for the first quarter of 2021 as the same period of 2020.

However, the firm says reports of industry-related fraud schemes increased, while outright theft of trucking vehicles or cargo decreased slightly.

CargoNet recorded 289 thefts or attempted thefts in the first quarter of 2021, which is a decrease from the same period in 2020. The firm says the decrease was “mostly felt in fewer theft schemes targeting truckload copper shippers in Illinois, trailer burglaries in Illinois, Pennsylvania and Georgia, and fewer full-truckload thefts in Pennsylvania.” The average value per theft was $142,574, the firm said.

Theft activity in first quarter was highest in Texas, California and Florida, and all three states reported significant increases in theft. Theft activity in Florida fell in February but spiked significantly in March, CargoNet said. This paved the way for a 26% increase when compared to first quarter of 2020 in theft activity in the state. Historically, theft was most frequent around Miami, but that trend has recently shifted to truck stops and retail parking lots in the Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando metropolitan areas.

For California and Texas, CargoNet's analysts have worked to prevent victimization by releasing several warnings about commodities and locations of concern to CargoNet members so they can harden their supply chains to theft. The firm continues to monitor crime patterns in both states – specifically frequent attacks on truckload computer electronics shippers in Northern and Southern California. Pilferage and full-truckload theft of computer electronics shipments in California have increased 88% year-over-year.