Food Heists Infiltrated Trucking Industry — Inventory Management

Posted by Sean Murphy on December 8, 2017

Inventory management helps distribution centers and logistics hubs track and move inventory across different locations. Over the past few years, large-scale food heist operations have skyrocketed. In fact, food and beverages have surpassed electronics as the most-stolen good in the country. The highest stolen commodity in California is nuts. More than 30 truckloads, valued at over $10 million, were stolen in a six-month span.

At one time, food heist operations took place on a small scale. Thieves would steal a bucket's worth of nuts from an orchard and sell it at a farmers' market. Today's thieves target the cargo of large semi-trucks. Nuts have a major appeal because they have a long shelf life and are expensive. They are also not electronically tagged or traced. And a semi-truck full of nuts is not going to raise suspicions in central California. The state grows 98% of the commercial pistachio supply in the United States and 80% of the world's almond supply.

A California sheriff said that it is difficult to prove if 30,000 pounds of pistachios are stolen. If he can't prove it, the thief walks away.

Interestingly enough, food heist operations are based on fraud, not force. California police studied the food heist network of criminals. These individuals have a complex understanding of the inventory management and distribution systems between growers, processors, and buyers.

Criminals have infiltrated the inventory management and distribution process by falsifying their information. They make up fake companies, alter paperwork, and divert cargo shipments. This leads to legally placed orders getting delivered to criminals. In several cases, the truck drivers didn't even realize their involvement in the food heist.

Twenty eight fraud-based food heist operations occurred in 2015. The value of the stolen nuts was $4 million.

In April 2016, an assembly bill was introduced in California to fund the coordinated efforts to combat food heist operations.

The affected warehouses are not clients of Stealth Monitoring.

Stealth Monitoring's trucking security solution can help with inventory management. Trained trucking access control operators can communicate directly with truck drivers, verify information, and control access before drivers enter, while they are in the gated perimeter, and follow them until they leave. This is done with two way communication systems and outdoor surveillance cameras.

Stealth Monitoring is the leader in remote video surveillance in Canada and the U.S, with over 400 employees, 11 offices, and 3 live video monitoring control centers. Stealth's proactive video monitoring watches over 17,000 IP and CCTV security cameras. Our security solutions feature advanced technology and can detect and deter crime while reducing security guard and other expenses. Our remote monitoring service can reduce or even replace security guards at a fraction of the cost. A remote surveillance operator can see suspicious activity, activate a speaker warning, and call the local police.

Please call toll-free (866) 756-7847 or contact us today for more information to protect your outdoor assets. Visit the Stealth website to see real arrest videos at construction sites, multifamily apartments, shopping centers, office buildings, warehouses, auto dealerships, and other commercial real estate properties.

Posted in: Crime Prevention, News