Even without the monthly incident numbers from Dutch law enforcement, which were not available as Vigilant went to press, the 144 new cargo losses recorded in August still represented a 24.1% rise over the same month last summer and produced a loss value of close to €5 million.

 TAPA EMEA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) was notified of new supply chain crimes in 11 countries last month. The total combined loss for the 108 or 75% of these thefts reporting a value was €4,909,774, which produced an average loss for August of €45,460.

Figures for last month included 13 major incidents with loss values of €100,000 or more. Six of these crimes occurred in the United Kingdom, while Germany, Norway and Sweden all reported two major losses. The other loss in this value range took place in Austria:


The biggest cargo theft last month occurred on 30 August and involved a Theft from Vehicle crime and the loss of Clothing & Footwear. The incident took place while the parked and attended truck was stopped in an unsecured layby near the M1 motorway in Brogborough, Bedfordshire, UK. Thieves were able to access the cargo by cutting open the tarpaulin side of the vehicle. 


Clothing & Footwear was also stolen in the second highest value crime reported to TAPA’s IIS database. This involved another curtain-cutting crime at an unsecured parking location in the UK, this time on 19 August in Barnsley, South Yorkshire.


The growing list of high value freight thefts when trucks stop in unsecured parking places at UK motorway service areas now includes this incident at Toddington MSA on the M1 in Bedfordshire, which resulted in a loss of Computers/Laptops after offenders cut open the tarpaulin side of a parked and attended vehicle on 4 August.   


This Theft of Trailer crime in Neustadt in Hesse, Germany, on 13 August saw the offenders escape with a trailer valued at €120,000 and 20 tonnes of chocolate worth €70,000. The thieves used their own tractor unit to steal the trailer and destroyed its GPS tracking system before making their escape.  Police believe this incident may be connected to another incident in Weimar where a semi-trailer was stolen. 


Seven criminals are said to have accessed a facility through a locked door at a Services 3rd Party Facility in Berlin, Germany, in order to steal a cargo of cigarettes on 6 August. The M.O. was recorded as Internal.  


Thieves broke into a trailer and stole Phones after the driver stopped for a rest break in Linz, Austria, on 19 August.


A violent Theft of Vehicle on 22 August in which offenders targeted a truck and its shipment of Metal after it stopped in an unsecured layby in Wednesbury, Wolverhampton, UK. The thieves approached the vehicle and told the driver he would need to move his truck to another location. When he got out of his cab to speak to them, the driver was assaulted before the criminals drove off with the truck and its load of steel.  


Norway isn’t often the scene of high value recorded cargo crimes but TAPA’s IIS was notified of two incidents in August. This highest value loss involved a Theft from Vehicle of 33 pallets or 17,862 kilos of fresh salmon from an Aviation Transportation Facility in Oslo on 21 August. 


Wine was the target in this crime on 8 August after thieves entered a secured yard in a tractor unit and stole a semi-trailer and shipping container in Immingham, Lincolnshire, UK.


This was the second major cargo loss in Wednesbury in the UK inside the space of six days in August. Criminals targeted a truck leaving a depot with a load of Metal on 16 August. They pulled their car alongside the truck and told the driver the back doors of his vehicle were open. The driver stopped and left the engine running while he went to investigate, enabling the thieves to climb into the cab and drive away with the truck and its cargo. A GPS jammer was said to have been used to block the stolen vehicle’s tracking signal.     


Five pallets of leather jackets were stolen on 25 August after thieves slashed open the curtain side of a truck in Malmo, Sweden.  


4,000 kilos of chocolate on eight pallets were stolen after thieves broke into a truck during the night of 17 August. This incident also took place in Skåne County, Sweden, in the town of Astorp. 


This second major crime in Oslo involved a Theft from Train crime on 6 August. Offenders reportedly climbed over the fence into a Railway Operation Facility and broke into several containers before stealing Computers/Laptops. Guards who interrupted the crime and alerted the police said the criminals had several cars to carry their haul.  Four people were later arrested.


TAPA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) also recorded a further 15 freight crimes in August with a loss value ranging from €50,000 to €100,000, producing a total loss in this value category of €1,076,847. 12 of these crimes were reported in the United Kingdom, two occurred in Germany and there was a single incident in South Africa.


The 10 highest value thefts in this category were:


·        €98,531 – A Theft from Vehicle and the loss of Tyres from a truck at South Mimms motorway services in the UK on 2 August  

·        €95,996 – Another Theft from Vehicle in the UK saw thieves steal a cargo of motorcycle engines in Daventry, Northamptonshire, on 7 August

·        €84,819 – On 11 August, washing machines were stolen from a vehicle in Welford, Northamptonshire

·        €80,495 – Tyres were also stolen from a truck in Rugby, Northampton, on 31 August 

·        €73,088 – Offenders in Winthorpe, Nottinghamshire, UK, took perfumes from a vehicle on 6 August 

·        €70,537 – Yet another Theft from Vehicle in the UK. In this crime on 10 August, fashion clothing was stolen in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire 

·        €70,000 – A Theft of Trailer and its cargo of fruit juice on 12 August in Wittenburg, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany  

·        €69,107 – A third incident involving the theft of tyres took place in Rugby, Warwickshire, UK, on 24 August

·        €66,333 – Thieves drove a tractor unit through a fence of a secured transport yard in Burton-on-Trent in Staffordshire, UK, on 9 August to steal a trailer and its load of aluminium

·        €64,557 – A Theft of Trailer with no load from an industrial estate in Dumfries & Galloway, Scotland, on 24 August 

Nine of the top 10 incidents listed took place when trucks stopped in unsecured parking locations.

Food & Drink was the only IIS product category to record more than 10 losses in August with 13 crimes or 9% of the monthly total. Overall, losses were reported in 15 separate categories.        

Products reported stolen from supply chains in EMEA in August 2017 included:

·        Photocopiers

·        Handbags

·        Denim

·        Brake discs

·        Car bumpers

·        Electrical goods

·        Chain saws

·        Building blocks

·        Prescription drugs

·        Frozen pizza

·        Travel bags and suitcases

·        Training shoes

·        Household products

·        Chewing gum

·        Strawberries

·        Bicycles

·        Cable

·        Sugar

·        Fire detectors

·        Microwaves

·        Cigarettes

·        Toys

·        Razors

·        Vacuum cleaners

·        Tools

Three countries accounted for 129 or 89.5% of August’s total.

·        United Kingdom – 92 incidents or 63.9% of the monthly total

·        Germany – 23 or 15.9%

·        Sweden – 14 or 9.7%

Cargo crimes in the UK continue to follow a similar pattern, with the East Midlands the main area of criminal activity and a high rate of curtain-cutting crimes involving trucks that stopped in unsecured parking locations. Of the crimes quoting a loss value in August, 73.3% of the loss total - €3,602,880 – involved cargo thefts in the UK.

Losses at UK motorway service areas remain a major threat to manufacturers and logistics service providers. Last month, TAPA’s IIS recorded 17 losses at 10 MSAs across the UK.

14 of the 23 incidents in Germany provided a value and these crimes produced a total loss of €623,260, including the two major thefts highlighted earlier. 52.1% or 12 of the incidents recorded in Germany involved Theft from Vehicle crimes. Cargo losses were recorded in nine states of Germany. The top three were:

·        North Rhine-Westphalia – 6 incidents

·        Bavaria – 5

·        Hesse – 4

Five of the 23 crimes involved thefts of trucks and/or trailers with no load. The TAPA IIS product category recording the highest number of losses in Germany in August was Tools/Building Materials.

In Sweden, eight of the 14 recorded freight thefts last month took place in Skåne County. The 14 crimes saw thieves targeting a broad range of products; Phones, Clothing & Footwear, Furniture/Household Appliances, Toys/Games, Food & Drink, Cosmetics & Hygiene, and Computers/Laptops.      

Theft from Vehicle and Unsecured Parking dominate the types and locations of crimes.

The most common type of incident recorded in August was once again Theft from Vehicle, which accounted for 114 or 79.1% of the total for last month. Theft of Trailer – with 10 crimes, 6.9% of the total – was the only other incident to record double-digit losses.

Unsecured parking locations remained the place where the majority of cargo crimes occur in the EMEA region. There were stated in 109 or 75.7% of incidents reported to TAPA EMEA in this reporting period.

Other intelligence worth noting last month included:

·        Two cases of Theft from Moving Vehicle in Västergötland, Sweden, and in Eastern Cape, South Africa. In the latter crime on 31 August, the thieves were reportedly seen clinging onto a trailer while they cut the truck’s tarpaulin to access its cargo of sugar

·        The incident already mentioned in Welford in the UK on 11 August is said to have involved the offenders using a noxious substance to incapacitate a driver who was asleep in his cab   

·        South Africa was also the location of two cases involving Deception, both in Gauteng province. In both incidents the offenders posed as traffic police officers

TAPA EMEA members can review all the latest incident intelligence for August 2017 in the IIS database in the password-protected section of the Association’s website.