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Breaking News in the Industry: July 3, 2018

How to prevent cargo theft during July 4th holiday

A study found food and beverages, major appliances, and electronics were the most targeted products for theft and this year they predict metal shipments are a prime target due to increased metal prices. As most Americans enjoy grilling with family and an extra day off this July 4th holiday, cargo thieves will be seeking to get rich by stealing truckloads of food and beverages, major appliances, and electronics.

CargoNet analyzed cargo theft data in the United States and Canada from July 1 to July 7 for the past five years and noted that those were some of the most popular theft categories. They also expect cargo thieves to target metal shipments. Metal commodity prices have risen over the past few years, and cargo thieves have taken note. CargoNet has noted a major uptick in cargo theft of metals in 2018.

 In the aforementioned time period, 108 cargo theft events in the United States and Canada were reported.

Reports were most common in California, Texas, and Georgia, respectively. However, there were 26 states or provinces in total that experienced some cargo theft in this reporting period. Cargo was most commonly stolen on Friday, with 24 reported thefts, and Tuesday, with 19 reported thefts. CargoNet estimates $14.93 million in losses during this reporting period, and the average loss value per incident equaled $230,339.

Truckers can protect their trucks and freight by avoiding high-theft metropolitan areas such as Los Angeles, Dallas–Fort Worth, Atlanta, and Miami and by parking in high-security locations with security services, secure fences, and high-visibility lighting.

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Noteworthy thefts from previous July 4th holidays:

  • $2,000,000 of cell phones from Miami, Florida
  • $1,300,000 of apparel and accessories from Newport, Tennessee
  • 
$659,090 in cash and other valuable items from San Angelo, Texas
  • $500,000 in electronics from Carnesville, Georgia
  • 
$495,210 in televisions and other displays from Medley, Florida
    [Source: Material Handling & Logistics]

Truck plows through doors then store [Viral Video]

A truck barreled through the front door of a Walmart in San Angelo, Texas, store early Thursday morning. Police said the man tried to run over his girlfriend, which started when a witness saw 19-year-old Caleb Wilson leaving the store with a woman and arguing with her in the parking lot. The witness intervened and convinced his companion to go back in the store. That’s when Wilson got into his truck and crashed into the store, police said. Police said when they arrived on the scene; Wilson sped away and hit a car in the parking lot. He was finally arrested in the parking lot of a gas station after briefly resisting arrest. Police took Wilson to a hospital for a mental health evaluation. He is facing multiple felony charges. The store is cleaning up the mess he made. The damage is estimated to be about $500,000.    [Source: WWSB7 MySuncoast]

Pawn shop manager arrested in connection to $37,000 shoplifting scheme

A pawn manager has been arrested in connection to the theft of at least $37,000 in merchandise stolen from more than a dozen Home Depot stores throughout Houston, Texas, the Harris County Pct. 1 Constable’s Office confirmed. Jose Hernandez was taken into custody Thursday and claims he had no part in the alleged crime. “I’ve got nothing to say, I wasn’t involved in any of this,” Hernandez said while being escorted by officers at a local jail.

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Investigators said at least 15 Home Depot locations had reported missing items including generators, welding equipment, chainsaws and paint sprayers.“From what I understand, he was taking the price tags off of cheaper items, putting them on the expensive items, paying for them pennies on the dollar and then walking out the door,” Deputy Joe Bowden said. “Taking them straight to the pawn shop.” Lopez is charged with third degree felony theft.

Officers were able to find some of the stolen merchandise at a Cash America Pawn shop in the 9400 block of Jensen, according to the constable’s office. “Precinct 1 prides itself on upholding the law,” Constable Alan Rosen said. “Stealing, especially in cases of this magnitude, will not be tolerated.” This is an active investigation and more charges may be filed, deputies said.   [Source: CW39 News]

Shoplifter jailed after dragging, injuring police officer with his car

A Bartlesville, Oklahoma, man is behind bars after allegedly causing harm to an Owasso police officer during a confrontation on Saturday. Mitchell Scott Greenwalt, 23, was arrested on counts of resisting arrest, aggravated assault and battery, assault with a dangerous weapon on a police officer, trespassing after being forbidden and child endangerment. The incident occurred around 2:30 p.m. in the Walmart Supercenter parking lot, where an officer was dispatched to an assault report inside the store, according to the police report. It states that Greenwalt allegedly grabbed a Walmart loss prevention employee and threw him into a shelf before walking outside to his car.

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Upon arriving on scene, the officer approached Greenwalt and attempted to take him in to custody, when the suspect entered his vehicle and started the car. Greenwalt then started fighting with the officer through the door, at which point he began driving away, dragging the officer through the parking lot. The officer sustained minor injuries and was treated by medics and released at the scene. A relative of Greenwalt was also arrested during the incident on one count of trespassing after being forbidden. Greenwalt was transported to the Tulsa County Jail on bond of $33,000 with a court date of Friday, July 6.   [Source: Owasso Reporter]

Suspect points gun at LPA during attempted robbery

A 29-year-old man has been taken into custody after pointing a gun at a loss prevention associate during an attempted retail theft. Police were called to the Metro Market in Sherwood, Wisconsin, for a report of a retail theft in progress. It happened at 9:46 p.m. on Sunday. It was reported that a loss prevention officer was in a physical altercation with the suspect. The suspect allegedly told the loss prevention associate that he had a gun. According to police, the suspect then pulled a concealed handgun from his waistband and pointed it at the LP associate. The suspect was taken into custody and a handgun was recovered at the scene. No injuries were reported. The incident remains under investigation and criminal charges have been referred against the suspect.   [Source: CBS58 News]

Shoplifter attempts to steal 51 cans of baby formula

While most shoplifters have different modes of operation, a majority of them steal relatively small items they can conceal under their clothes, or in a shopping bag. But a 33-year-old Lincoln Park, Michigan, man was thinking big when he allegedly walked out of a Meijer store with almost $900 worth of baby formula. When Allen Park police arrived at the store, 3565 Fairlane Drive, at about 6 p.m. June 17, officers were told the man is a known offender connected to shoplifting incidents at other Meijer stores. A be-on-the-lookout warning was issued to all Meijer stores to watch for this person, who they suspected would be trying to steal large amounts of baby formula.

Officers were told that the man was at the Allen Park store and selected an entire shelf of powdered baby formula and placed it in a shopping cart. He also selected two kids’ basketball hoop sets and placed them inside the cart, as well. He emptied the two basketball hoop boxes and placed the baby formula inside the boxes. He then went up a self-scan register and paid the cost of the basketball hoops, which totaled $45.43. He left the store with the baby formula still inside the basketball boxes. Police said not one of the boxes of baby formula had been scanned or paid for. The alleged thief was stopped before he could make his getaway. A total of 51 cans of baby formula were recovered by the store’s loss prevention department, valued at slightly more than $856. The man was arrested and ticketed for retail fraud.

Although police did not state what the man planned to do with so much baby formula, the product is prized by shoplifters for a number of reasons. Consumer Reports states it’s a popular choice of shoplifting rings and drug smugglers, who use it to cut heroin and cocaine. The publication also stated that it’s easy to resell baby formula, since it’s usually expensive and always in demand. However, Consumer Reports warns that those who purchase the lifted product face many dangers, as it often is stored incorrectly after being stolen or sold past its expiration date.   [Source: The News-Herald]

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