A BUSY CHRISTMAS FOR CARGO THIEVES WITH DECEMBER LOSSES OF MORE THAN €9.6M IN 18 COUNTRIES ACROSS EMEA

As Vigilant went to press, cargo crime data for December 2019 in the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region was still being collated but the 144 incidents already recorded for the month had still produced a total loss of more than €9.6 million.

This figure - €9,673,827 – was one of the highest monthly loss totals of 2019 and came from just the 61 or 42.3% of crimes reporting a value. The average loss for these incidents stood at €158,587.

10 major incidents, with losses of €100,000 or more, accounted for €7,866,731 of the monthly total, averaging €786,673 per crime. The incidents Vigilant is authorised to publish involved:

€5,000,000

On 8 December, offenders escaped with a large shipment of clothing and footwear from a vehicle in Helmond, North Brabant, in the Netherlands. No further details are available.

€1,200,000

Another Theft from Vehicle crime on the A2 in Möckern in the German state of Saxony-Anhalt on 4 December involved the loss of a consignment of perfumes. The driver had parked in an unclassified parking location for a night rest. 

€500,000

Clothing and footwear products were also targeted in Florence, Italy, on 5 December, disappearing from an Authorised 3rd Party Facility.  During the last night, unknown perpetrators blocked the streets around the warehouse, using three stolen vans and a stolen car, before using another vehicle to force their way through a boundary fence to enter the warehouse. Investigators said the crime took just 10 minutes to enact.

€170,000

In Helsingborg, Sweden, on 4 December, thieves cut the tarpaulin curtain of a truck carrying tobacco products and escaped with eight of the 33 pallets inside the vehicle, which had stopped in an unclassified parking location.

€147,245

17 pallets of training shoes were taken from a truck in Johnstonebridge, Dumfries and Galloway, in Scotland on 17 December while the driver was asleep in his cab. According to the TAPA IIS incident report, the offenders parked a 7.5 tonne truck alongside the lorry and cut the curtain side of the vehicle to reach the cargo. The loss may have been even higher if the driver had not woken up and disturbed the thieves.

€144,210

TAPA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) recorded a high number of crimes in December involving fraud and deception. They included this Deceptive Pick-up of a shipment of computers/laptops from a Services 3rd Party Facility in Germany on 12 December. The empty truck was recovered several days later. 

€144,138

In Moscow on 21 December, another Deceptive Pick-up from a Services 3rd Party Facility resulted in the loss of a cargo of textiles. The driver, who produced forged documentation to make the collection, has reportedly been involved in previous incidents.  

€144,138

The Central Region of Russia was the location of this loss of a shipment of pharmaceuticals on 22 December. After collecting the cargo in the town of Golikovo, the driver later unloaded the goods in an unauthorised location before disappearing.  

€100,000

On 13 December, offenders drilled a hole in the wall of a facility in Aveiro on the west coast of Portugal to steal several industrial refrigerators filled with cod, which were loaded onto waiting vehicles and driven away.

TAPA EMEA also recorded 16 crimes with a loss value of between €50,000 and €100,000 – worth an overall total of €1,119,100 or an average of €69,943. In this loss category, the top 10 crimes – nine of which occurred in Russia - were:

·         €98,927 – the theft of chemicals from a vehicle in Moscow on 7 December

·         €94,222 – another crime in Russia involving fraud and the loss of a shipment of clothing and footwear after the driver diverted the cargo to an unknown location in Moscow Oblast on 5 December

·         €87,711 – a further Deceptive Pick-up in Russia. This theft of meat in Kolomna in the Central district on 26 December was carried out by a driver using forged paperwork. The same driver is believed to have been involved in similar incidents in the previous two years 

·         €87,111 – fake documentation was also used in the theft of construction materials from a Services 3rd Party Facility in Moscow  

·         €80,000 – in Amsterdam in the Netherlands on 29 December, thieves stole a vehicle loaded with 24 pallets of alcohol and six pallets of spices from a Services 3rd Party Facility

·         €71,035 – the same type of location was involved in this loss of a cargo of tyres in Northwest Russia on 11 December in yet another Deceptive Pick-up

·         €69,186 – the theft of food and drink products in Moscow Oblast on 23 December

·         €69,186 – another case of a loss being facilitated by a bogus driver in Russia, this crime in Valischevo on 21 December saw the theft of a shipment of textiles 

·         €63,283 – thieves stole a shipment of meat from a Services 3rd Party Facility in Klementyevo in Moscow on 5 December

·         €58,474 – another theft of meat products by a driver using forged documentation, this crime took place in Odintsovo in Russia’s central region on 26 December

 TAPA recorded cargo crimes in 18 countries in the final month of 2019, most notably:

·         Netherlands – 34 incidents, 23.6% of the December total

·         Russia – 33 incidents, 22.9%

·         United Kingdom – 27 incidents, 18.7%

·         Germany – 24 incidents, 16.6%

Losses were reported in 15 TAPA IIS product categories, with double-digit incident rates for:

·         Food & Drink – 27 thefts

·         Tobacco – 18

·         Furniture/Household Appliances – 16

Theft from Vehicle – with 63 crimes or 43% of the monthly total – was the most reported type of incident, followed by 33 cases involving Fraud and 15 Theft of Vehicle crimes. The three most recorded types of location were Services 3rd Party Facility with 44 incidents or 30.6% of all reported crimes, Unclassified Parking Location with 38 or 26.3%, and Destination Facility with 18 or 12.5%.

TAPA members can source the most up-to-date intelligence using the online IIS database.