Frequency, value of cargo thefts fall in late winter, early spring

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cargo theftIn the three-month period of February-April, the number of cargo thefts dropped 16 percent from the previous three-month period, and the average loss value per load dropped 31 percent, according to data released this week by cargo theft research group Freightwatch International.

However, Freightwatch says, the drop in cargo theft numbers may be caused by the reporting structure, rather than an actual decline in thefts.

A total of 176 thefts were recorded, with an average value loss of $120,990. In February, 71 thefts occurred — the most in the period — with 68 being reported in March and 37 reported in April.

Per usual, food and non-alcoholic drink loads made up the plurality of thefts, accounting for more than a quarter of stolen loads — 47 thefts, 27 percent.

Loads of electronics (12 percent, 21 thefts), metals (10 percent, 18 thefts), pharmaceuticals (10 percent, 18 thefts) and home and garden (14 thefts) rounded out the top five. The electronics loads are mainly TVs, cell phones and video games, FreightWatch says.

The food loads were items like meats and seafood, juice and prepared foods.

Texas, Florida, California, Georgia and Illinois accounted for more than half of the thefts, FreightWatch’s report says, and unsecured parking was responsible for 107 of the thefts — 75 percent.

Facility thefts made up 13 percent, and, together, secured parking and in-transit thefts made up 12 percent of incidents.

Trailer theft accounted for 64 percent of the thefts, while thefts involving deceptive pickups were down to five incidents from eight in the three months prior, making up 5 percent of the thefts between February and April.