Bombs Bursting in Air Gave Cargo Thieves Time for Crime

Posted by Sean Murphy on July 14, 2021

When a national holiday rolls around, one thing is certain: businesses close. In the cargo world, this means commodities, equipment, tools and other valuables are left alone and unattended by employees, leaving a wide-open door for thieves. Having just celebrated the Fourth of July weekend, while Americans were busy watching fireworks with family and friends in celebration of freedom and those who fought for it, cargo thieves were busy, too.

Based on cargo theft data between July 1 and July 7 of the previous five years – 2016 through 2020 – here are some quick facts:

  • An average of 25 theft events occurred per year resulting in $145,699 worth of stolen goods per event.
  • Last year’s Fourth of July weekend, saw an increase of 123% over 2019’s holiday weekend.
  • 42% of theft events happened on Friday and Saturday.
  • California, Texas, Florida and Illinois recorded the most thefts with other research verifying that during 2020, 20% occurred in California, 18% in Texas and approximately 11% in Florida.
  • The first quarter of 2021, Texas, California and Florida had the highest cargo theft activity.

In the recent past, thieves were after household goods including hand sanitizer, disinfectant, toilet paper and paper towels, and food and beverages; however, in 2020 this switched to computer electronics and other products/goods with inflated prices and a shortage. Pilferage and truckload theft of computer electronic shipments in California alone have increased 88% year-over-year.

Top targeted areas include parking lots, unsecured yards, truck stops and warehouses.

Live Video Monitoring Provides a Needed Tier of Protection

In combination with proper lighting and perimeter fencing, live video monitoring can help reduce and deter cargo theft. It also helps beat cargo thieves at one of their sneakiest strategies. Thieves will trip facility alarm systems multiple times before breaking-in to give law enforcement and facility managers the impression that their alarm system is broken or not working as intended.

Stealth’s customized video surveillance solutions work in tandem with company-trained, live video monitoring operators in real time. Our operators actively watch locations, determine activity, and then proactively make best decisions on what to do in that exact moment. Each time the analytics in the camera spots an incident, the operator is alerted. The security operator can see exactly what’s going on and can give an audible warning and/or contact local police and facility managers, depending upon established protocols.

Example Scenario

ABC-XYZ Cargo is a large computer electronics warehouse located in California that ships and receives goods across the United States from trucks and trailers. Because of a recent theft that resulted in high-dollar loss, the warehouse manager decides to install an alarm system to trigger whenever an individual attempts to climb the perimeter fencing. The manager assumes this will scare the potential thief enough that the individual will run away.

Over the course of one month, the alarm triggers five different times, creating a pattern of activity. This could mean a possible cargo thief or group is strategizing to perform theft at a later date, priming the alarm to trigger in hopes of convincing police and facility managers the system is broken or malfunctioning. Then, when they return to steal, authorities and managers will just assume the alarm is malfunctioning due to the number of recent triggers and choose to ignore it and/or do nothing.

ABC-XYZ Cargo would benefit greatly with Stealth Monitoring’s live video monitoring. Because our trained operators would be watching the property live and in real time, they could give an audible warning as well as notify police while potential trespassers are attempting to climb the perimeter fencing.

Over the course of that month when the alarm triggered five different times, our operators could have contacted police who may have arrived on scene each time. Once the trespasser(s) realize the property is being live monitored, they may be less likely to return, thereby beating potential thieves at their own game!

National holidays allot many workers a certain amount of time off and away from transportation and logistics facilities. This time also gives thieves the unguarded chance at cargo theft. Work alongside Stealth to create a customized solution with live video monitoring at its core to deter and reduce theft. Contact us today to learn more.


Posted in: Crime Prevention, Video Security Systems, Video Monitoring