Long July Fourth holiday period is prime time for cargo theft increase

Updated Jul 2, 2024
Cargo theft chart

A company that monitors cargo theft today warned the impending July Fourth holiday is expected to see yet another increase in activity by thieves targeting trucks.

CargoNet, a Verisk business engaged in cargo theft prevention and recovery, today issued what it called "an urgent advisory" to the logistics industry, warning of an increased risk of cargo theft during the upcoming July 4th holiday week. The company said in a statement the extended business closures during the long holiday period can create an advantageous environment for cargo thieves.

Based on an analysis of 174 thefts that occurred between July 1 and July 7 over the past five years, CargoNet said it has identified several key trends:

  • Peak Risk Days: July 1 and 2 consistently show the highest rates of theft, likely due to loaded conveyances left unattended before the holiday
  • Increasing Trend: While 2023 saw record-high theft rates, 2024 is on track to surpass those numbers
  • High-Risk Areas: California, Texas, and Florida remain the states most targeted by cargo thieves. The counties of San Bernardino, California; Maricopa, Arizona; Dallas, Texas; Los Angeles, California; and Shelby, Tennessee are particular hotspots
  • Targeted Items: Thieves show a preference for non-alcoholic beverages (especially energy drinks), major appliances, and computer electronics
  • Theft Methods: Direct cargo and conveyance theft continues to be more common than complex fraud schemes

RELATED NEWS: Record number of Fourth of July travelers expected on U.S. highways

"Cargo thieves are well aware that extended holiday closures work to their advantage," said Keith Lewis, vice president of operations at CargoNet at Verisk. "With theft activity already surpassing 2023's record highs, we urge the industry to remain vigilant throughout the holiday weekend."

Noteworthy thefts from previous July 4th holidays

  • $439,895 in medical supplies from Davenport, Florida
  • $352,000 of computer electronics from San Francisco, California
  • $314,191 of computer electronics from Commerce, California
  • $180,000 of meat products from Georgetown, Texas
  • $180,000 of ATV’s from Savannah, Georgia