HILLSBOROUGH (FOX 13) -The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office thwarted a massive pharmaceutical drug heist during an undercover sting that resulted in the arrest of two truck drivers.
April 16th, detectives arrested Jose Levy-Ibanez, 46, and Arnaldo Zaldivar, 53, on several drug related and grand theft charges.
The day before, a confidential informant tipped off the Hillsborough Sheriff's Office.
"We received information that there was going to be a hijacking of a tractor trailer full of pharmaceuticals," Maj. J.R. Burton said.
According to the sheriff's office, Ibanez was hired to drive the truck from a pharmaceutical warehouse in Lakeland to one in Atlanta, GA.
Instead, deputies say, Ibanez met up with Zaldivar at a truck stop in Sumter County, the two disabled a GPS unit in the truck and switched places.
Ibanez continued north toward Atlanta with the GPS unit now in a car, and Zaldivar drove the truck south toward Tampa.
"We, of course, had surveillance on the truck the entire time," Maj. Burton said.
Undercover detectives arranged to buy a portion of the load from Zaldivar at a truck stop off U.S. 301 north of I-4.
"He then parked, met our undercover detective. They negotiated a price for the load, and at that point we arrested him," Maj. Burton said.
The sheriff's office believes the truck was destined for Miami possibly to be smuggled overseas.
"A load that size you have to have a pretty large scale buyer. That's not something that you would disperse out on the street," Maj. Burton said.
MIAMI (WSVN) -- After a large truck filled with beer was stolen in Orlando, earlier in October, a trucker was left devastated -- until Miami Police detectives helped return it to him.
Van Thomas was trying to live the American dream. After years as a trucker, he bought his very own semi in early October and made a company of his own.
However, while traveling from Texas to Pompano Beach, Thomas made a stop in Orlando that took everything he worked for away from him.
Thomas was devastated to find that his tractor trailer was stolen from the truck stop. "I don't mean to cry about it, but I'm just trying to do the best I can and make a better life," said Thomas.
At the time, Thomas was hauling 44,000 pounds of Miller High Life. That's about 9,700 four-packs of beer.
Thomas was crushed. "I invested all my time and energy into this company and to have this happen at this stage of the game is really devastating right now."
Thomas said it's a problem that drivers like him have to deal with all too often. A truck full of eggs was stolen earlier this year in Fort Myers, as well as a truck with Hershey's chocolate stolen last year in Volusia County and a truck filled with Slimfast that was swiped near Downtown Orlando.
It's thousands of dollars gone from the truckers' pockets, and for Thomas, it was $2,300, plus the cost of his truck.
However, when all looked grim, Thomas received a very welcoming phone call. Just as he was losing all hope, City of Miami Police detectives told him his semi had been found. "Oh, my God, that's beautiful," said Thomas.
And, yes, some of that beer was still inside. "Oh, man. That's the best news I've heard, man. Thank you so much, man."
Detectives are trying to figure out who stole Thomas' truck. They are also investigating whether the theft was part of a bigger ring.
COVINGTON TOWNSHIP — A trucking company in Lackawanna County is missing a tractor, a trailer and about $100,00 worth of merchandise.
The owner of Naro Trucking in Covington Township thinks two people broke into the company’s yard earlier this week.
He said, on Tuesday, someone stole a tractor trailer full of blue jeans.
The trucking company near Gouldsboro is now out $150,000.
It’s not the first time Naro Trucking has dealt with crooks, back in 2006 the company had a similar theft.
“Right after that, I fenced the whole place in, ya know? Now here we are back in the same business,” said Ross Naro, the owner of Naro Trucking.
The owner of the trucking company said he was surprised that the theft happened right off a main road in Lackawanna County. He said the people who did it, came off that road, broke the lock to the gate and headed in.
“They took one tractor, went up to the top of the hill where we keep the rest of the trailers and went through all the trailers, probably about 15 of them,” said Naro.
The owner said the people broke the seals on 15 trailers and looked for something they could make money on.
He thinks, that’s why they took the shipment of blue jeans.
Even though Naro Trucking has a security gate and cameras the owner said he now needs more.
“We hired a security guard. He’s here from about 9 o’clock at night until 6 since the morning, 7 days a week. So there’s more of an expense,” said Naro.
The owner said he doesn't have big hopes that the tractor, trailer and blue jeans will be back anytime soon, but he does want to know who is responsible. “Naturally, I’d like to see them caught. But, I don’t see that happening. “
The owner of the trucking company said he has reported the theft to Covington Township police.
He is now working with his insurance company to see if it will cover the cost.
Original News Story
Courtesy of https://www.nicb.org
The Grand Prairie Police Department held a press conference on Thursday to discuss their attempts in combating cargo theft and property crime in the area. This event also covered the need for cargo theft legislation with stiff penalties.
By Barry Tarnef
In his latest blog, Barry Tarnef talks cargo safety and loss prevention.
Click the brief clip below to lean more. And to know more about new, trending cargo-theft schemes
By Tom Regan
BARTOW COUNTY, Ga. —
Thieves stole a tractor-trailer rig loaded with $2 million in pharmaceutical drugs and narcotics as it was parked and running outside a Bartow County truck stop early Tuesday morning.
Investigators described it as a carefully planned heist.
"A lot of times you hear of trucks taken off the grid, in situations like this, where narcotics get into the hands of individuals who can put them out on the streets." Bartow County sheriff’s investigator Jonathan White said.
White told Channel 2's Tom Regan that the truck driver left his rig unlocked, with the keys inside, at a Pilot Travel Center on Cassville-White Road around 5.30 a.m. Tuesday. The driver went in to use the restroom and returned to find his rig gone, White said.
Within a few minutes of the theft being reported, a tracking device on the trailer alerted the trucking company and police to its location.
Investigators say the thieves tried to throw police off their trail by switching out the truck cab that was pulling the trailer.
"Basically on this they had a truck on standby, to swap out that tractor and trailer with another one, so it would be concealed. And they used Velcro to over the license tag to conceal the plate and replace it with another one." said Investigator White.
Georgia State Patrol and Bartow County sheriff's deputies tracked the stolen rig to an exit off Interstate 75. In a slow-speed chase, they followed the rig into an industrial park where the thieves stopped the truck, jumped out of the passenger door, and ran into nearby woods.
Investigators recovered the drugs but said they are still looking those behind the heist, which they suspect was an inside job.
"These are targeted, where they can strike in this transport chain, and get the trucks easily," Bartow County Sheriff's Sgt. Jonathan Rogers said.
Rogers said it likely someone provided the thieves with information on what the truck was carrying. Other truckers said they take extra precautions when passing through the metro Atlanta area.
"Whenever I get near Atlanta, I always get an alert to watch my truck, my trailer, because Atlanta is known for getting thefts." truck driver Adam Orcutt said.
Another driver said he rarely loses sight of his truck.
"We're very cautious; very much watch our load anywhere we got. [We] don't leave them alone anywhere," truck driver Rick Rusher said.
Investigators said they are looking into the possibility that the thieves behind Wednesday’s scheme are part of a larger criminal network involved in truck theft.
Original News Article
Barry Tarnef is an assistant vice president and senior risk specialist, loss control services, for Chubb’s Commercial Insurance business unit.
By Christina Lusby, Reporter - email
FORT MYERS, FL -Park at your own risk: it's what managers of Pilot Truck Stop are telling drivers after a tractor trailer was stolen from it's lot.
According to drivers, it's not the first truck to be stolen from the area.
Truck drivers are constantly on the road and have to stop. It's the reason Don Tobias was at the Fort Myers Pilot.
"[I am] mainly fueling and showering," said Tobias who’s been driving a truck for 40 years.
It's the same routine for many drivers, but necessity is becoming a risk.
"When you go into shower, they [thieves] are waiting, watching you," said Tobias, "You go into shower and they break into the truck."
The latest victims are driver Alejandro Ponce and partner Anabel Morales.
Ponce and Morales say they have parked at the Fort Myers Pilot before. But on Wednesday after showering, they came out to find their truck and cargo stolen.
“We looked at ourselves saying ‘we just parked it.’ We looked everywhere and it wasn’t there,” said Morales.
Panic set in and Ponce called deputies. He filed the report then both drove to Miami.
Ponce, Morales and other drivers say it’s where semis are often dumped after being stolen.
“The window on the driver’s side was broken into,” said Morales.
It turns out Morales and Ponce’s hunch wasn’t far off.
According to Hialeah Police, the truck was found abandoned behind a tile business.
Police say the suspects broke in and used a freight key to drive it.
"They stole the truck with the least amount of value, thinking it had great value," said Morales, "[I mean] plastic garbage bags, imagine."
Whoever took the truck from Pilot's parking lot stole $20,000 worth of plastic.
The couple is working with their insurance and the company whose cargo they were carrying.
"It's really frustrating," said Morales.
Morales says their insurances will now go up due to the theft.
After the theft, Pilot has been warning drivers to park at will.
"They said park 'at your own risk, we had a truck stolen out of here three or four nights ago.’ They said this isn't the first time it has happened either," said Tobias, "It's happened in the past - three or four times."
"I'm going to be locking my truck when I get out," said Donny Banta another driver who was fueling up at the Fort Myers Pilot.
This is the second tractor-trailer that has been stolen from Lee County.
Last month, an egg truck with more than 180,000 eggs was taken from a 7-Eleven. The truck turned up in Homestead, but all the cargo was missing.
Read Original Article
What is cargo theft?
Cargo theft involves stealing trucks or trailers full of merchandise to sell for a quick profit. Trailers often carry loads of goods worth thousands of dollars.
Cargo theft has become a significant problem in transportation hubs in southern Ontario, and in Montreal and Vancouver. A low-risk, high-reward crime, cargo theft appeals to criminals who steal merchandise, parcel it out and sell it, often before the crime is even reported.
IBC’s national cargo theft reporting program
On March 18, 2014, IBC and the Canadian Trucking Alliance announced a national cargo theft reporting program open to all insurers operating in Canada including IBC members and non-member companies.
The program improves information sharing among insurers, law enforcement, the trucking community and other stakeholders to help speed the recovery of stolen goods and bring criminals to justice.