TORONTO - Over $1 million worth of merchandise that was stolen during transportation to various retailers has been recovered, York Regional Police said Friday.
Investigators with the auto and cargo theft unit recovered 15 loads of lifted cargo from warehouses in Vaughan and Toronto that had included baby products, barbecues, tools, musical instruments and forklifts.
Police said they had been investigating the case since early May after they received a tip about significant losses of goods from trucks.
Police also said that most of the goods have been returned to owners.
The investigation is ongoing and anyone with information should contact police at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 6651 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS, online at www.1800222tips.com or by texting a message beginning with the word ``YORK`` to CRIMES (274637).
GREENWOOD, Miss. (AP) — Viking Range is offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of those responsible for the theft of a semi-trailer load of Viking products valued at between $250,000 and $300,000.
Leflore County Sheriff Ricky Banks tells The Greenwood Commonwealth (http://bit.ly/1pme5ap ) that sometime over the weekend someone cut the lock on the gate at Viking's distribution center on U.S. Highway 82, where a loaded trailer was sitting.
Banks says the thief or thieves brought a tractor and hauled the items away.
Greenwood-Leflore-Carroll Crime Stoppers Inc. is adding $1,000 to the reward and Banks' department is offering $2,000 — for a total of $28,000.
Banks said the semi-trailer was intended to be taken to Memphis for shipment by rail to Viking distributors in Washington state.
Information from: The Greenwood Commonwealth, http://www.gwcommonwealth.com
Constable Trevor Archibald, who works as a detective in the Ottawa Police's auto theft unit, talks about how cargo crime is perceived and what the trucking industry can do to fight back
June 24, 2014
by Carolyn Gruske
TORONTO, Ont. – In the grand scheme of things, Trevor Archibald knows that there is no way to be completely successful at his job, but rather than discouraging him, he turns each small, individual victory into a driving force that renews his enthusiasm for his work.
Archibald is a detective in auto theft unit of the Ottawa Police Service, and as such, it often falls upon him and his colleagues to investigate cargo thefts. As a police officer, Archibald knows that there will never be an end to crime. Property theft will always be an attractive option for the less-than-law-abiding element in society, but rather than be frustrated by the reality of the situation, Archibald is philosophical about the nature of the job.
“What we do, at the investigative level, is make people aware we are disrupting the activities of organized crime. That’s what we’re going to do. We are going to continue to disrupt their activity. To think we’ll stop it is a little dreamy, a little ambitious, but we’ll be interrupting it.
“It’s an endless pursuit. There is no end. We are not marching towards a finish line. It keeps advancing. It keeps being a certain distance away. That’s frustrating. But the results generate enthusiasm. They keep the motivation going. I don’t think in my tenure we’ve come across a loss of enthusiasm or a will to persevere, although I could see it happening: if you put me in a fraud section I would be more discouraged. You’re doing bounced cheques for ten years. They’re never ever going to stop.
“In some sense it is like being a postal worker. The mail is always going to come through. It never stops. Crime is always going to continue. But that’s the job—is to disrupt all these people’s ability to do it.”
Archibald was in Toronto to share his expertise and perspective at a recent symposium on cargo crimes. Afterward, in an exclusive interview with Truck News he spoke about why cargo theft is so hard to prevent and what the industry can do to make itself less vulnerable to thieves and robbers.
First though, he wanted to explain exactly how cargo crimes are classified and handled. He said because of their nature, it is very easy for cargo thefts to be categorized in ways that don’t make them easy to track. It also means the goods that are stolen aren’t the main focus of his investigations.
“In auto theft unit, our mandate is specifically vehicle theft for profit. If a facility is broken into and a load is stolen from a trailer, but the trailer is never moved, that would fall under the investigative scope of break and enters. We deal with the vehicle and the subsequent load theft because the vehicle is stolen. The break and enter squad doesn’t really work as an organized crime unit, although break-ins are pretty organized, they are typically not run by crime networks, big well-established organized crime.
“There are a lot of load thefts that would be reported as break-ins. That wouldn’t be captured [in cargo theft statistics] because the first thing we would look for would be the vehicle theft, the trailer theft itself. Then the value is another issue, because the value of the load is often not known at the time of the report. So it can get misclassified as theft over $5,000 or theft under $5,000 very easily if there is no value established.”
Archibald insists that cargo theft rings are part of an organized crime problem—cargo stolen from the Ottawa area almost always makes its way through criminal networks based in Montreal—but if a cargo theft is assigned to the break and enter division, Ottawa Police Service’s intelligence unit (which is responsible for organized crime investigations) doesn’t oversee the case.
Because cargo thefts can be assigned to different groups of investigators, Archibald says that they are had to track. Officially, Ottawa police counted five reported cargo thefts in 2013. But he knows that number is far from indicative as to how much cargo is stolen. In reviewing the cases before making his presentation, Archibald and his colleagues discovered a sixth cargo crime in the records that hadn’t been classified as such. When he attempts to account for the unreported thefts, the number of incidents per year jumps significantly.
“I think 20 would be very reasonable to predict. Just on a quick search we missed one. We found five, and we missed one, so we missed one of six. Maybe we missed another in looking for these stats, and then all the unreported ones. So only 35% are reported, then that gives you 20 real easy. I think 35% is a fair number of what is reported, but I couldn’t source that statistic.”
(In total, Archibald reports the six stolen loads had a value of approximately $150,000 in total, with the highest value load accounting for nearly $100,000 of that amount.)
By not reporting cargo thefts to the police, Archibald says shippers are making things easier for the criminals. He doesn’t say a reluctance to talk about cargo crime makes trucking companies any more vulnerable to being victimized, but “I think it makes the industry still vulnerable. I don’t know if it makes it more vulnerable because without the police being involved, they are going it alone. They are taking on this fight against this crime problem without much help from police, and the support network that comes with having law enforcement aware of the problem.”
Additionally, by keeping quiet and not reporting thefts, Archibald believes that the trucking industry is short-changing itself from benefitting from available resources.
“The squeaky wheel does get oil a lot of the times. If the industry and the major stakeholders were to speak up and say they are suffering these losses and they are victims, I think at a certain level of complaint, it may get some address from policing as a profession or as a field. It might get more support from law enforcement if it gets screamed and squawked about. If nobody complains, then the police are led to believe everything is fine. It doesn’t matter if you’ve got an informant network that says this crime is happening if you have no victim, because you have to come forward to be a victim. You’re only a victim if you care about it.”
Even if police departments wish to do more about preventing cargo crime and want to spend more resources to recover stolen goods, Archibald says they are at least somewhat subject to the demands of public opinion, and right now, the public really doesn’t care too much about load heists, which makes it difficult for police departments to justify the allocation of resources to tackle the problem.
“Property crime is so low on the priority scale, typically because it has been and likely will be for a long time viewed as a victimless crime, because there is no violence, there is no sex, there are no drugs—which is a fallacy because there is a ton of drugs in the trucking business.
“Stealing 53 feet of diapers, how sexy of a file is that? Nobody cares about that. Not nobody, but it’s not going to sell one newspaper, let alone a lot. If we stop that and have a big press conference and sit there with our flags on that table, and say we recovered 60 million diapers, newspapers and the public at large, would rather hear we infiltrated a drug network and got 50 pounds of marijuana. They all want to hear that more—the regular citizen would rather here we got drugs off the street than we recovered 2,000 fire extinguishers.”
Beyond getting the public interesting the fight against cargo theft, Archibald says that with all of the demands put on the police these days, it is difficult to give officers sufficient training to allow them to confidently and capably deal with cargo theft situations. In particular he says the averaged uniformed officer on the street has “zero” education about load thefts.
“It’s a huge problem. It gets worse because the willingness to stop a semi with a trailer on it is very low. I was in traffic for four years, and I did a handful of stops of heavy trucks—a handful in four years. So a regular street cop can go five years of doing break-in calls and other calls, and your boss expects you to get a couple of tickets. You’re not going to pull over the 18-wheeler. It’s not going to be the one. They’re intimidating as hell for somebody who doesn’t do it every day. So the probability of detection for the thief is so low that it’s almost no risk.”
He adds that getting officers interested in cargo crime is an uphill battle given all of the other issues they are faced with on a daily basis.
“How do you make a captive audience? You can’t force somebody to want to receive that information. At a certain point there is an overload. You are asking officers who are just bombarded with demands and requests and responsibilities, as soon as you give them some information or knowledge, it’s another thing they’re think they’re expected to engage in, and it’s hard to get buy-in for something that is almost optional. That kind of enforcement is almost optional.”
Archibald says that the fact that cargo theft isn’t perceived to be a sexy crime or a crime that is high on anybody’s priority list doesn’t help spur officers to invest a lot of time becoming proficient solving cargo thefts.
“If you were to recover 53-feeth worth of whatever, let’s say cheese, you’re probably looking at a $50,000 or $100,000 recovery. It looks great for a minute. It looks great for 30 seconds to your boss who says, ‘Great, excellent. You did a good job getting back that $100,000 worth of cheese. Now I need a couple more stops on tickets.’
“It’s our job, and I don’t think the fanfare that comes from these recoveries feeds the desire to want to do it, and if it does, it’s probably the wrong person doing the job, if that’s the motivation. To motivate somebody to want to be involved stopping trucks and increasing detection, I don’t know how you do that. I’m already motivated for it, where I’m not motivated for some of the other investigative stuff.”
Another problem encountered by police officers looking to learn more about specialized subjects like cargo crime is a policy that is used by many police forces (including Ottawa’s) that rotates officers out of specialized details and moves them into other departments on a frequent basis. Typically, he says five years is a standard term on the job, although Archibald, who teaches about cargo crime at police college and who is on the board of directors of the International Association of Auto Theft Investigators, managed to obtain a two-year extension. He said the loss of expertise as specialists are moved through the department makes it difficult for groups like the auto theft unit to experience any continuity and to pass along—or develop—expertise.
As to what advice he’d give trucking companies as to how to prevent becoming victims of a cargo theft, Archibald says the best thing they can is to take steps that make their particular businesses less inviting to those looking for an easy score.
“Vulnerability is the only thing I think members of the industry can address. If you make yourself less vulnerable, you are a less likely target. Security measures—today we talked about checking out your drivers’ criminal history, etc.—the more of those systems that are in place, I think they reduce the vulnerability to this because the next person will be more vulnerable. In a target-rich environment, there is no sense chasing the fastest. You chase the slowest. The cheetah always goes for the one at the back of the pack. That’s no different here. It’s easier to steal your money from a bank than to go to Fort Knox to get it.”
There have been no arrests in this case and the incident is still under investigation.
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office and the Portland Police Bureau investigated the theft and recovery of a stolen semi tractor trailer, stolen during a burglary from ABC Supply, at 1835 N.E. Columbia Blvd. in Portland. Photo Courtesy: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
(PORTLAND, Ore. ) - The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office and the Portland Police Bureau investigated the theft and recovery of a stolen semi tractor trailer, stolen during a burglary from ABC Supply, at 1835 N.E. Columbia Blvd. in Portland.
On Sunday at 8:15 a.m., the Clackamas County Sheriff' Office was dispatched to meet with an employee from ABC Supply who had located their stolen 2007 International semi-truck and trailer that was now parked the Fred Meyer parking lot at 8955 SE 82nd Ave.
The employee had used a GPS tracker system to assist in tracking and locating their vehicle, when it was found in the Fred Meyer parking lot. The employee said the trailer had been loaded with roofing shingles, but they were gone at the time the truck had been located.
The Sheriff's Office learned from the employee that according to his GPS tracking system, the truck had been parked in the 8200 block of SE Sherrett Street for a considerable amount of time before being moved the Fred Meyer parking lot.
Deputies drove to the area on SE Sherrett Street to look for the missing roofing shingles. A Clackamas County Sheriff's Office Sergeant found tire tracks in some gravel that resembled the ones belonging to the stolen semi-trailer. The tire tracks lead to an address on SE Sherrett Street.
Deputies made contact with the home owners who gave the sheriff's office consent to search the area which ultimately lead to the recovery of the 6 full pallets of roofing shingles that had been stolen from the trailer.
The Clackamas County Sheriff's Office notified the Portland Police Bureau which is protocol when another agency assist another in their jurisdiction.
The two police agencies worked together as one to assist ABC Supply employees by hand loading each heavy bundle of roofing shingles back onto the semi trailer.
There have been no arrests in this case and the incident is still under investigation.
Source: Clackamas County Sheriff's Office
By Erica Techo, Morris News Service
ATLANTA -- Georgia ranks in the top five states for cargo thefts, a statistic which a new law hopes to combat.
The Georgia Cargo Theft Act was signed by Gov. Nathan Deal April 15 and goes into effect July 1. The law change specifies punishments based on the value of stolen cargo and identifies penalties for tampering with transport trucks.
“This really was an opportunity to create (punishment) levels to tie the value to the cargo being stolen,” said bill sponsor Rep. Geoff Duncan, R-Cumming.
Georgia’s ports and interstates make it a prime target for freight theft, said Executive Director of the Georgia Center of Innovation for Logistics Page Siplon, but the promise of stricter punishments could deter criminals.
“We’ve got to have laws behind it so that people think twice maybe about stealing,” he said.
Before the punishments were outlined in this bill, cargo theft cases were oftentimes never prosecuted or were pleaded down to minor car-theft charges when the thieves were actually caught, said Ed Crowell, president of the Georgia Motor Trucking Association. This did little to worry criminals.
“(The bill) can only be helpful,” Crowell said. “Cargo theft is a real problem for the industry, and this particular law helps clarify and strengthen penalties for cargo theft.”
One point of the bill specifies punishments for pharmaceutical theft, an industry with high monetary and personal health consequences, Duncan said.
“If you steal pharmaceuticals, there’s a patient waiting for that,” he said.
Medicine is also at a greater risk, strictly from a financial point of view, said Siplon. Pharmaceuticals are more expensive for consumers and companies and also have a higher resale value on the black market.
Identifying vulnerable industries and goods while placing more policing power behind punishments shows an understanding of private industry that can benefit Georgia’s relationship with companies, Siplon said. Even though bringing more businesses into Georgia is not a direct goal, the state and its industries can profit from greater freight protection.
“I don’t think people will come (to Georgia) just because of an anti-theft law, but I think it’s an important piece of the puzzle,” Siplon said.
Crowell said the bill has good intentions for industry protection, but its effectiveness will depend on how it is executed in the real world.
“The law is just words on the page unless it’s utilized and enforced,” he said.
Security Brief from Lucena Group: Expansion in intra-Asian shipping could lead to increase in hijackings around Malaysia, Indonesia
By: HUB International Limited
Cargo theft and hijacking is on the rise in the United States, according to Freight Watch International. The total cost to the US economy has been estimated at approximately $300 billion, which includes the value of the stolen goods, resupply costs, opportunity costs, as well as insurance and law enforcement costs. The true costs of goods shipped are often undervalued as it is a critical part of more costly items or operations.
Organizations often have practices that invite unscrupulous predators to take advantage of them, including:
The Transported Asset Protection Association (TAPA) launched what it calls the most comprehensive supply chain security standards in TAPA’s 17-year history to combat increasingly sophisticated thefts. The new 2014 versions of TAPA’s Facility Security Requirements and Trucking Security Requirements are the result of a year-long review process involving TAPA members worldwide. “Organized gangs of criminals around the world are becoming more sophisticated and daring in their attempts to steal products during the logistics process, and that’s why we regularly review and often upgrade the standards,” Paul Linders, who leads TAPA’s global standards committee, said. The association says cargo crime is no longer petty, opportunist theft carried out by individuals. Today, it is coordinated by organized international gangs whose attacks often involve violent and armed hijackings of vehicles, facilities and employees as well as fraudulent pick-ups, fake police stops, bogus personnel, slashing open trailer curtains and attacks on moving vehicles. “Cargo crime as a whole is increasing, and one of the biggest challenges we face is getting businesses and law enforcement agencies to report loss data to help us understand the true scale of the problem and to provide intelligence that helps companies plan their supply chains using the latest market information,” Linders said. “At TAPA, our analysis tells us that losses suffered by our members are three times lower than the industry average, although that leaves absolutely no room for complacency. The cost of a single loss can be between 4-11 times its original value, hence the TAPA standards can significantly contribute to measurable supply chain risk management.” Below is regional crime data:
Europe, Middle East & Africa
Cargo crime figures for the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region for 2013 showed a 66 percent increase in the number of incidents reported to TAPA’s Incident Information Service, with an average loss figure for the 1,145 recorded crimes of 235,000 euros (US$317,957). The loss value of the 10 biggest cargo crimes in the region in 2013 was over 55 million euros (US$74.4 million). In the first quarter of 2014, a total of 216 cargo crime incidents were reported in EMEA. The average loss figure for the first quarter of 2014 for all recorded incidents was over 210,000 euros (US$284,132). The biggest single crime in Q1 was the theft of 5-6 million euros (US$6.7-8.1 million) of smartphones in Paris close to Charles de Gaulle Airport.
In the first quarter of 2014, TAPA Americas’ Incident Information Service recorded a total of 196 thefts in the U.S., with 76 thefts in January, 43 in February and 77 in March. The average loss value per incident during the quarter was US$216,208 (159,663 euros). The largest single crime was the theft of a truckload of cowboy boots stolen from Carrolton, Texas, which had a declared value of $2,261,495 (1.6 million euros).
TAPA APAC recorded 215 cargo theft incidents throughout Asia in 2013, a slight drop from the 2012 record high of 228. Of the 215 cargo thefts, 49 percent were hijackings, while 20 percent were thefts of loads from trailers. “The average loss value per incident increased from US$377,307 in 2012 to US$620,954 in 2013,” Lee Chan Wai, TAPA APAC Incident Information Service lead, said. “Clothing/footwear and metal products accounted for 56 percent of the recorded IIS incidents in 2013.” Violent truck hijacks accounted for 51 percent of Asia’s total cargo crime incidents in 2013.
Security Brief from Lucena Group: Possible Increase of Cargo Thefts at Port of Long Beach and LA during June and July 2014
By: LARA L. SOWINSKI
The focus on recalls in the food and beverage supply chain certainly won’t let up this year, especially with new regulations under the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) on the way and heightened awareness the norm among providers and consumers alike.
Addressing intentional adulteration of food
In December, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued its proposed rule on intentional adulteration of food, which for the first time, “clearly requires companies to implement a food defense program,” explains Don Hsieh, director of commercial and industrial marketing for Tyco Integrated Security.
To help companies identify the most vulnerable parts of their supply chains and operations that could be targeted, the FDA suggests that companies include in their review:
• Mixing and similar activities where a large batch of food can be susceptible to an even distribution of a contaminant
• Secondary ingredient handling where a contaminant may have access to the primary product stream
• Liquid receiving and loading where there is a high probability of uniform mixing of a contaminant
• Bulk liquid storage and handling, which are typically held in isolated areas and include agitation steps to prevent separation
While attacks on the food supply chain may seem few and far between, “Unfortunately, incidents of intentional food adulteration have occurred worldwide in different venues,” says Hsieh, who lists the following: “In 2002, an Al’ Qaida attempt to poison Rome’s water supply was foiled. In 2007, the food poisoning of 203 hospital patients in northeast China was determined to be an intentional act. And in the U.S., a plot to poison hotels and restaurants in multiple locations was uncovered in 2010.”
Kevin Pollack, vice president of sales and marketing, and business development at Stericycle, acknowledges that “while widespread food sabotage is not very prevalent, when a disgruntled employee, consumer, or competitor commits an act, it poses a public health risk and can cause reputational damage to the producer’s brand.”
So, who’s most likely to attack the food supply chain? Hsieh notes that, “In a recent survey of 600 respondents (representing government, first responders, public health and industry) conducted by the DomPrep Journal, 47 percent cited disgruntled employees as the most likely threat, far surpassing domestic and foreign terrorism, which came in second with 29 percent….”
At the same time, Stericycle’s Pollack notes that the FDA’s proposed rule “also aims to protect consumers from ‘economically motivated adulteration,’ which is open to interpretation, but could mean the addition of preservatives that are known to be harmful yet extend shelf life; or undeclared ‘cheaper’ ingredients, like water and sugar substitutes.”
Furthermore, foods like olive oil, fruit juice, and honey are some that are prone to adulteration for economically motivated purposes, he says.
Pollack adds that, “This type of adulteration is much more prevalent, and in order to meet the FDA’s requirements as outlined in the food defense plan, companies should review their production systems to determine if they include activities that are most vulnerable to adulteration.”
These would include the four processes listed previously, as well as other best practices such as employee training and background checks, quality assurance programs, and supply chain testing, adds Pollack.
Cargo thefts aggravate the problem
It’s worth mentioning that according to FreightWatch International, thefts of food shipments continue to lead all others, which makes keeping the food supply chain safe all the more difficult.
Hsieh confirms that, “For the past three years, food and beverage products have had the highest incidence of cargo theft as an industry because they’re difficult to track and easy to reintroduce into the supply chain and sell.”
He explains that, “While a load of electronics goods like cell phones or tablets are higher in value than food, since they are serialized and easier to track, criminals may only get 30 cents on the dollar to fence these products. In contrast, branded food products are more difficult to track and easier to resell, so criminals may get 70 cents on the dollar. Unfortunately, when these stolen products are resold into legitimate channels, there is no assurance that the product is safe to eat, especially for refrigerated products, and ultimately, both the consumer and brand reputation can be harmed.”
There is a way to turn around this trend, however. “The electronics and pharmaceutical industries both suffered from a high incidence of cargo theft, which while still an ongoing threat, has declined due in part to implementing more stringent safety measures such as GPS tracking and monitoring,” Hsieh points out.
“Criminals tend to go after the softest targets and the recent trend of food and beverage thefts may be an indication of that,” he says. “With the introduction of some of the latest technologies, such as truck and trailer security and control, it may be time for food and beverage companies to implement higher levels of preventive security practices to stem the rising tide of cargo theft.”
For his part, Pollack also sees some positive movement in combating cargo theft in the food and beverage industry, starting with enhanced security procedures.
“Sourcing, delivery schedules, travel routes, even double drivers and electronics controls are all measures being used to help prevent theft,” says Pollack.
Nonetheless, “Truck stops have been a haven for such activity, especially when the truck is stolen when the driver stops for a bathroom break. Since the trucks are readily identifiable and have systems set up to quickly transfer the merchandise, they have fencing operations that processes the product before selling it on the grey market. Some have even used eBay to unload stolen shipments.”
Putting a plan together
Steve Dollase, president, Inmar Supply Chain Network, notes that, “While adulterated product entering the supply chain is low probability, it does carry high risk.” To mitigate that risk, implement best practices that include the right processes, people and technology to secure product in the supply chain, which he details as follows:
The Right Processes. Processes are one of the most important steps to secure product. It all begins with a plan that is global in scope to meet ever-expanding trade relationships. The global plan should be cross-functional to encompass all aspects of the supply chain with a specific plan in place for the handling of adulterated product if it does make its way downstream. Any plan should include execution and communication steps to ensure proper notification about handling of adulterated product in the supply chain and should address all stakeholders and legal entities across the globe.
The Right People. Without the right people, processes can never really get off the ground. The right people and the right vendors ensure that processes work to prevent adulterated product from reaching the consumer. To make sure the right people are touching your supply chain, stringent background checks for personnel should be employed. While all personnel are appropriately screened, access to certain aspects of the supply chain—such as receiving systems—should still be limited. As with personnel, all vendors should undergo a strict background check and vetting process.
For many companies, prevention of adulterated products is cross-functional without a clear designation of which people within the company are best at handling the issues that could arise. Supply chain associates offer an overview of the big picture of adulterated or anti-counterfeit product plans, says Dollase. If adulterated product makes its way downstream, the supply chain team knows which wholesalers handle which product and whether the product is contract manufactured, co-packed or distributed by a third party or in-house. Their insight that encompasses the entire product lifecycle, from raw materials through manufacturing to distribution channel, can be beneficial when addressing adulterated product.
The Right Technology. In today’s world, technology is an enabler to help the right people implement the right processes quickly and efficiently, not only to detect, but also to prevent adulterated product from entering the supply chain and reaching the end consumer. Track and trace technology can help keep product safe at all points in the supply chain. Technology should be used at warehouses and distribution centers. This security should employ video surveillance, badge-controlled entries, low-level motion detection beams at dock doors and entrances, collaboration between the shipper and receiver on tracking technology, and ASNs for tracking by lot or production code, Dollase advises.