By Assignment Desk, Fox 5 NewsCONNECT
Springfield, Mo. -- (1/26/2018) Five Texas men have been indicted by a federal grand jury for stealing 650 firearms from United Parcel Service trailers in Springfield en route to Bass Pro Shops.
Frank McChriston, 33, of Ponder, Texas, Keith Lowe, 28, of Dallas, Texas, Quinton Haywood, 26, of Glenn Heights, Texas and Eric White, 26, and Derrick White, 32, both of Texas, were charged in a two-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Springfield on Wednesday. The federal indictment replaces a criminal complaint that was filed under seal on December 29, 2017. The five co-defendants were arrested in Texas, where they remain in federal custody pending transportation to the Western District of Missouri.
The indictment charges each of the five defendants in one count of aiding and abetting one another to steal firearms being shipped across state lines, from Beretta USA in Maryland to the state of Missouri. The indictment also charges each of the five defendants in one count of aiding and abetting one another to possess stolen firearms.
According to an affidavit filed in support of the original federal criminal complaint, Derrick and Eric White, McChriston, Lowe and Haywood stole 650 firearms, along with other cargo, from UPS trailers in Springfield in October 2017.
The firearms were in the process of being shipped from Beretta Firearms in Maryland to Bass Pro Shops in Springfield. The trailers in which the firearms were shipped had been parked in the UPS freight lot in a configuration to prevent access to the trailer doors, by being parked back-to-back, with the roll-up doors facing each other. The trailers were then blocked by longer trailers, which should have acted as a preventative measure from someone backing a truck-tractor to the trailer and pulling it forward.
Sometime between noon on October 28, 2017, and 8:30 a.m. on October 29, 2017, thieves hot-wired two truck-tractors and used them to push and pull various trailers around the lot, allowing the thieves access to the trailer doors. Thieves stole 600 Beretta .380-caliber handguns and 54 Beretta12-gauge shotguns, as well as an entire pallet of Justin brand boots, numerous power tools and 12 cases of soda. UPS employees discovered the theft on October 29, 2017, and notified law enforcement.
The next day, Best Way Moving & Storage in Springfield discovered that a truck had been stolen sometime after noon on October 28, 2017. On November 8, 2017, the stolen truck was found in Seagoville, Texas, which is in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.
According to the affidavit, cell phone tower records indicated that the cell phones of Derrick White, Eric White, McChriston, Lowe and Haywood all were in the vicinity of the UPS freight facility in Springfield at or near the time of the theft. Investigators determined that all five cell phones left the Dallas metroplex on October 27, 2017, arrived in Springfield on October 28, 2017, and returned to the Dallas metroplex on October 29, 2017. Haywood’s phone was also in the area where the stolen truck from Best Way Moving was recovered in Seagoville.
Eric and Derrick White were located at Redneck Heaven Restaurant & Bar in Arlington, Texas, on November 19, 2017, and arrested on outstanding warrants from an unrelated case. A Beretta .380-caliber handgun was found in Derrick White’s car as it was being towed; investigators confirmed the firearm had been stolen from the shipment of firearms in the Springfield UPS freight facility. Additional items consistent with those stolen in the UPS theft were located in Derrick White’s vehicle, including a Milwaukee M18 2 Toll Combo Kit, still in the box, and two SOG folding knives, still in the box.
A loaded Taurus 9mm pistol was found in Eric White’s car. Investigators also recovered two sets of bolt cutters and two key rings containing several keys from Eric White’s car. The keys were the type commonly used for tractor trailer trucks and fork lifts, and circular keys common for storage units and vending machines.
By WMCActionNews5.com Staff
By Jerry Askin
OLIVE BRANCH, MS (WMC) -Sixty-seven guns were stolen outside a sporting goods store in Olive Branch.
The guns were in a trailer parked at Academy Sports on Goodman Road. The trailer's driver arrived at around 10 p.m. He was set to deliver the contents of the trailer to the store at 6 a.m. the next day.
Police said the truck driver went to sleep behind the store Sunday night; when he woke up, the guns and ammo were gone.
"We don't want to see these guns in the hands of young people or criminals at all," Olive Branch Police Chief Don Gammage said. "I'm so afraid they're going to make it out to the black market."
The guns taken were a mixture of handguns and long guns. Olive Branch Police Department said 61 of the 67 guns were handguns. Two of the guns are AR 15s. Two other guns were shotguns. Investigators did not release the type of guns for the final two.
"It is very scary thing to think about," Olive Branch resident Laura Molner said. "For people who live here, who live in Memphis, it's terrifying."
Olive Branch residents said it is not something they are used to hearing about in their city.
"You're safe where you're at," Molner said. "You don't hear things here. It's more like cities around us. Then, all of a sudden, it's been brought into our city."
But others said crime is everywhere, including Olive Branch.
One business owner said he has experienced thieves trying to break into his store more than once.
"It's unusual to hear something like that in Olive Branch," Terry McMullin, jewelry store owner, said.
McMullin owns Master Jewelers, located across the street from Academy Sports.
"We've had our problems in Olive Branch as well," McMullin said. "So crime is everywhere."
Molner and McMullin both are concerned their city is now more dangerous, because those guns could be in the hands of criminals.
"It's something that's concerning to me," McMullin said. "It's something that leads to increased crime. Not feeling safe in the community."
"It's scary. As someone who lives in Olive Branch, it's really scary to think that it could get into the wrong hands," Molner said.
Gammage said the driver of the Knoxville-based trucking company has been questioned and is cooperating. As for the possibility of it being an inside job?
"We do not feel like this was random, I will say that," Gammage said.
Gammage said investigators have all the serial numbers and model numbers to the missing weapons. He's asking for the public's help in obtaining as much information as possible in order to find the stolen guns and the person(s) responsible.
"Firearms have always been liquid in the criminal world because they're easy to get rid of and they're not disposing of them through legal channels," Jeff Duncan, Gun Exchange of Olive Branch, said.
"If you think you saw something, please call us," Gammage said.
Academy Sports and Outdoors opened approximately two years ago in Olive Branch. A spokesperson for the company said the company is working with police.
The Knoxville-based trucking company that owned the trailer declined to comment on the situation.
Investigators are currently going through video surveillance hoping to track down the person(s) responsible. They're also working alongside the ATF and nearby law enforcement agencies.
Gammage said in March another trailer was broken into and, according to the crime tracker, that burglary happened at Academy Sports near Wolfchase.
"We don't know if they are connected at this point," Gammage said. "We are definitely working to see if they are connected."
By James Jaillet
The Transportation Security Administration has issued an internal report warning of the potential for terrorists to use trucks as weapons to conduct attacks. TSA also released a list of countermeasures, mostly involving awareness of surroundings and reporting suspicious activity, that truck owners and operators should heed to help prevent such attacks from occurring.
Though none have occurred in the U.S., high-profile truck-ramming attacks have been carried out elsewhere, including a July 2016 attack in Nice, France, that killed 87 people and injured 430, and a similar attack in December 2016 in Berlin, Germany, in which 12 people were killed and 56 were injured. The TSA report cites these and 15 other vehicle-ramming attacks, 10 of which occurred in the past 10 months. The straight truck used in the Nice attack was rented, but the truck and trailer used by terrorists in the Berlin attack was hijacked and driven to Berlin by the assailant. The trucker was murdered by the attacker during the hijacking.
Carriers and drivers should maintain “a high level of alertness,” the report says, and should report suspicious activity to authorities and, in the case of drivers, to their carrier. Other countermeasures for carriers and drivers include parking in secure locations, ensuring vehicles are locked, refusing rides for hitchhikers and other strangers and, for carriers, ensuring route compliance of drivers.
Truck used in Berlin attack was hijacked, trucking company boss saysThe Scania tractor-trailer used in the deadly terror attack in Berlin, Germany, on Monday was hijacked, according to a report from Britain's The Independent, citing ...
“Commercial vehicle owners and operators should alert their staff to possible theft or hijacking of vehicles by would-be attackers and the importance of reporting suspicious activities to appropriate authorities,” the report says.
Dubbed “Vehicle Ramming: Threat Landscape, Indicators and Countermeasures,” the memo was issued to Homeland Security staffers, law enforcement agencies and others this week. The seven-page internal memo, marked unclassified, was obtained by Overdrive Friday.
“Terrorist organizations overseas have advocated conducting vehicle ramming attacks…against crowds, buildings and other vehicles. It is likely that terrorist groups will continue to encourage aspiring attackers to employ unsophisticated attacks such as vehicle-ramming, since these types of attacks minimize the potential for premature detection and could inflict mass fatalities, if successful,” according to the report.
Trucks in particular “present an especially attractive mechanism for ramming attacks,” the report says, “because of the ease with which they can penetrate security barriers and the large-scale damage they can inflict on people and infrastructure.”
— David Hollis contributed to this report.
ORIGINAL ARTICLE - CCJ
By Andrea Alvarez
“To my knowledge, in our 20 year history of being in this location, we have not had this kind of a theft,” said Donovan Mowery, the Warehouse Manager at LaSalle Bristol.
Several companies in Elkhart were targeted in the last 45 days. Their semi trailers were stolen right off their lots. There were also some thefts in South Bend. Now, police are now working with each other to investigate.
“Networking with other agencies so there's the sheriff’s department or South Bend or Saint Joe County. As they get information, you know, we can share that and hopefully be able to put the pieces of the puzzle together,” said Chris Snyder with Elkhart Police Department.
Eight of those trailers originally came from Kingman Mobile Storage in Elkhart. They’re leased to businesses in the county like LaSalle Bristol.
“We’ve had three trailers stolen from the lot during the evening hours when the facility is closed,” said Mowery.
Mowery says nothing was in those trailers, but nonetheless, the theft is costing them big bucks.
“You’re talking about a value of approximately 20,000 dollars for all three trailers,” said Mowery.
So how do police go about catching these thieves?
“We get the serial or Vin number for the trailer, were able to enter that into a state and national computer so that if anybody runs that the number, if they were to get pulled over for some reason, it would come back as being stolen,” said Snyder.
However, Mowery says that will be difficult since all the trailers stolen from them were intended for storage only so they weren’t plated for road use. Now, he says the company has taken steps to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
“We have put glad hands locks on all the trailers which disable the e-brake line so the trailer cannot be moved off the lot,” said Mowery.
Police suggest other businesses follow suit.
“Whether its locks on the trailer, making sure you’re buildings are secure, different things like that. We certainly encourage all the businesses to come up with some type of system to be able to secure your property,” said Snyder.
Elkhart police say they have received surveillance video from LaSalle Bristol of that theft happening. There are no suspects at this time, however they are working with those other agencies to collect all of the details for leads on the investigation.
Cargo theft is one of the most lucrative criminal activities in Canada, but it rarely makes headlines. And yet it’s costing consumers and the economy an estimated $5 billion a year.
“A decade or so ago, it was probably a more opportunistic crime,” David Bradley of the Ontario Trucking Association told W5. “But what I think has occurred is that organized crime syndicates have seen that it’s relatively low risk, high reward, and there seems to be a market for just about anything somewhere in the world.”
Stolen cargo - the stuff loaded in trailers and hooked onto trucks - can range from high priced electronics, cars and booze to everyday products like cheese, candy, toilet paper and household detergents.
Stolen cargo can range from high priced electronics, cars and booze to everyday products like cheese, candy, toilet paper and household detergents (W5).
Unsecured truck storage yards are tempting targets for thieves (W5)
David Bradley of the Ontario Trucking Association tells W5 organized crime syndicates are taking advantage of the growing transportation industry.
Once thieves get their hands on a load, selling it is easy. Organized crime groups know who is in the market for a particular product and often have buyers lined up, or the goods are sold off piecemeal to corner stores and flea markets. Some buyers have no idea they’re paying for a stolen product, while others don’t ask questions.
“There’s a lot of willful blindness,” said Detective Sergeant Paul LaSalle, the head of the Auto Cargo Theft Unit at York Regional Police, one of just two specialized teams in the country.
If selling the stolen goods is easy, stealing them in the first place is even easier.
“The transportation industry is growing really quickly,” said Mike Grabovica, the owner of Birdseye, a company that sells security systems. “So carriers are looking for additional yards to supplement their increased inflow of business and these additional yards tend to be highly unsecured.”
Those unsecured yards are tempting targets for thieves. Even facilities with security cameras are easy to penetrate. Grabovica took W5 to three truck storage yards in the Toronto area. We passed through open gates without challenge, hung around in plain view and checked to see if trailers were loaded.
Standing in the middle of one yard, Grabovica said, “We’re knocking on trucks. We’re trying to open doors. I mean, if this isn’t acting suspiciously, I don’t know what is.”
It would not have taken long to hot wire a truck and steal a load of cargo. But we were never challenged.
Small wonder the number of cargo thefts is growing. In 2014, The Insurance of Bureau of Canada handled around 200 reports. This year, the number has doubled to more than 400, primarily in Southern Ontario. That’s more than one a day.
Right now, Peel and York Regional Police are the only two forces in Canada with specialized cargo theft units. That’s partly because the Greater Toronto Area is a transportation hub and there are more trucks and cargo to steal. At one recent raid, York Regional Police recovered a truckload of stolen candy worth more than $200,000. Two suspects were arrested, but if they’re convicted, the chances of a stiff sentence are small.
“The people that are involved in various crimes get suspended sentences or they get off because they haven’t been caught before,” said David Bradley. “I think most people would feel that the penalties aren’t sufficient to really act as a deterrent.”
But it’s about to become more difficult for thieves. Working with trucking associations and law enforcement, the Insurance Bureau of Canada has developed the National Cargo Theft Reporting Program to keep track of cargo theft across the country. It’s just beginning to operate, but already it’s making a difference.
“We’re seeing the recovery numbers change drastically because we are getting hits on the database,” said Garry Robertson of the Insurance Bureau of Canada. “The police are finding the property now and we are able to get it back and get it to the insurer, trucking company or whoever is the owner.”
The data base will make it easier to track down thieves and bring them to justice, but despite improved detection techniques cargo theft isn’t about to disappear. Standing beside a board with a list of 25 current investigations, Detective Sergeant Paul LaSalle laughed when asked if there was any chance he’d ever go out of business. “No,” he answered. “It’s just too profitable for the thieves.”
VIDEO LINK- www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=759076
MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - Miami-Dade police's cargo theft squad and detectives from the Airport District arrested three men last week after they tried to steal a box truck that had $800,000 worth of cellphones inside, authorities said.
The suspects were identified Thursday as Daniel Ramirez-Castillo, 29, Yoel Brito, 42, and Luis Miguel Cordova, 39.
Police said undercover detectives watched the men for two weeks as they conspired to steal the truck.
Police said the men followed the truck for several days last week. They said the men tried to steal it Friday outside a business at 6640 NW 22nd Ave. after an undercover officer who was posing as a deliveryman entered the store.
The suspects used a copied key to gain access to the truck, authorities said.
The trio was arrested on charges of stalking, attempted grand theft of a vehicle and conspiracy to commit grant theft cargo, among other charges.
Police said they are seeking information about a 2007 Honda Odyssey with Miami Heat tag L3AJP whose driver fled the scene when the men were taken into custody.
Anyone with information about the vehicle is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.
FreightWatch International recorded a total of 193 cargo thefts in 2016’s third quarter, according to its quarterly theft report issued last week. The cargo theft monitoring firm pegged the average loss value of cargo theft instances in the quarter at $120,536 each in the third quarter of the year.
Compared to the 2016’s second quarter, theft occurrences rose 14 percent, but average loss value fell 26 percent. Compared to 2015’s third quarter, cargo theft incidents were up 7 percent, while values rose 38 percent.
During the third quarter, FreightWatch recorded 77 cargo thefts in July, 66 in August and 50 in September.
Electronics and home and garden were the most-stolen items in the quarter, each accounting for 18 percent of cargo thefts during the period, according to FWI. Food and drinks accounted for 17 percent of stolen items. In electronics, televisions and displays accounted for 31 percent of the thefts. In home and garden loads, appliances were most stolen. Meats and produce each accounted for 18 percent on the food and drinks items stolen.
Home and garden items saw the most dramatic increase in thefts when compared year-over-year with a 94 percent increase from 2015’s third quarter. Electronics thefts rose by 46 percent year-over-year.
California ranked as the top state in FWI’s numbers with 38 percent of total thefts in the quarter, followed by Texas with 16 percent of the total. Of the 193 thefts in the quarter, 75 percent of them occurred in unsecured parking locations, FreightWatch says. Secured parking locations accounted for 13 percent of thefts, and warehouse and distribution centers represented 11 percent of the thefts.
Additionally, FWI says theft of full truckload was most prevalent with 78 percent of third quarter thefts.
RIVERSIDE, Calif. (KABC) --
Authorities said a driver in a stolen semi-truck led California Highway Patrol officers on an hourslong chase across the Inland Empire on Tuesday.
The chase, which sparked at about 10:30 a.m. in Apple Valley when San Bernardino County sheriff's officials said the driver failed to yield, spanned more than 150 miles and lasted nearly three hours.
"It's a whole different ballgame when you're dealing with a big truck like this," Sgt. Randy Costelow with CHP said.
The truck took off southbound on the 15 Freeway and continued all the way past Box Springs, Riverside and Moreno Valley, at times reaching speeds of up to 70 mph.
The suspect, later identified as 48-year-old James Edgley, drove onto the eastbound 60 Freeway, speeding through Gilman Springs and Beaumont. Edgley later continued onto the 10 Freeway into the Banning area toward Twentynine Palms.
Shortly after 1:30 p.m., Edgley drove the truck off the westbound 10 Freeway into a rest area in Whitewater, where he exited the car and was taken into custody by officers without further incident.
"Through talking with him on the phone, he decided he wanted to turn himself in, and they worked out a deal for him to pull in here and to stop," Costelow explained. "That's when he got out of the vehicle, really without incident, and was taken into custody."
The truck belonged to ACT Enviro, a company that transports hazardous material. According to the CHP, the truck was carrying corrosive oil.
Edgley was booked for felony evading, and possession of stolen vehicle.
"I think he had some personal issues going on that he was talking about both to his negotiator and his daughter," Costelow stated.