Cargo theft is an important topic in the trucking industry. Nearly every fleet will experience loss of cargo through theft in any given year. Here are some resources to help you before, during, and after theft happens. Protect yourself and your fleet!
Step 1: Report theft to CargoNet
Once you submit your theft, CargoNet will enter the event into their database for the purpose of supporting law enforcement in their recovery efforts and record for analytical purposes. If the theft details are robust, actionable and timely they will disseminate a theft alert through CargoNet’s Law Enforcement communication platform during normal business hours. Another benefit is the theft event data resides in the CargoNet database; where law enforcement and CargoNet analyst can attempt to match a victim with recovered products.
*Although CargoNet will share theft intelligence with CargoNet members, they will brand protect member alerts. Meaning if 123 Trucking Inc. (Association Member) is a victim and reports a theft their company name, driver and customer details will be masked to all parties other than law enforcement.
Step 2: Report theft to the Florida Highway Patrol’s EFTMS
The State of Florida maintains its own cargo theft database called the Electronic Freight Theft Management System. Entering your data into this system helps state and local law enforcement create BOLOs and other timely notification functions. CargoNet and EFTMS are related systems, but it’s best to enter data into both separately. A free account is required to protect your information–only law enforcement can access the EFTMS.
Remember, Cargo Theft is a Major Crime
Florida is ground zero for cargo theft nationwide. Use these tips to help prevent cargo/vehicle theft in the first place and to help recover your equipment faster in the event it is stolen.
- Have trucks park away from the highway
- Be wary of people on a cell phone following your truck through a rest area or truck stop. It’s highly likely they are planning to steal your load.
- Beware of double- and triple-brokering loads. This introduces more people into the transaction who have the details of your route, value, etc.
- Avoid freight holdovers for multiple days. Friday-Sunday is especially dangerous in terms of cargo theft.
- Utilize secured lots as much as possible for rest brakes and overnight parking.
- Always use a locking kingpin with a unique combination/key if possible.
- Develop relationships with your local law enforcement in the jurisdictions where you tend to park most frequently, including your home base. Knowing a name and phone number when theft occurs gets action faster.
- Use the latest technologies for load tracking, driver reporting, etc.
- Always perform a thorough background check on potential hires. Inquire about any criminal history for every position.
When Theft Occurs
- Report the theft immediately to local authorities. You MUST have a theft report number to help law enforcement prosecute.
- Be sure to report the theft to the separate databases above IN ADDITION to the local crime report. Law enforcement will not do this for you, but it expands your reporting reach internationally.
- Always have photos of your vehicle on file, as well as bills of lading, vehicle value reports, etc. on hand to complete the report.
- It’s a good idea to have this information duplicated in a place where your driver can access it immediately in the event the truck is stolen. If these documents are in the truck, they go with the thief.
- Remember to include the value of the truck, trailer, cargo, and after-market equipment in the theft report. This helps raise the value of the theft and can make a big difference in the decision to prosecute.
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