With cargo losses in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region being added to TAPA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) database daily, this report looks at some of the higher profile cargo crimes reported to the Association last month.

The total loss for the 17.2% of all recorded incidents with a value of €2,819,855 produced an average loss for these thefts from supply chains in June of €148,413.

TAPA EMEA received intelligence on seven major thefts with values of more than €100,000, including one seven-figure loss in the United Kingdom on 12 June. This Theft from Trailer crime saw the offenders target a truck parked at Clacket Lane motorway service area (MSA) on the M25 in Surrey between 20:30hrs and 05:30hrs. The goods stolen included various technology products; smart watches, cycling computers, satellite navigation systems and boating devices with a reported value of €1.2 million.  

Vigilant has been asked not to share information on two of the major losses added to its database last month but the other high value thefts included:


On 1 June in Rogat in the Dutch province of Drenthe, thieves climbed a fence to enter the transport yard of an Authorised 3rd Party Facility and drove away a trailer loaded with 20 pallets of taps.   


Three days later on 4 June, offenders targeted another Authorised 3rd Party Facility – this time in Neustadt-Bad Windsheim in Bavaria, Germany – and stole a semi-trailer and three tractors. After forcing their way onto the site at night, they drove the trailers to the Eastern border but were apprehended by border control officials.


Thieves took a 28-tonne low loader and other items, including a generator, from a layby on the A167 main road in Richmond, North Yorkshire, on 21 June. €100,000

A truck with a shipment of sound bars was attacked by cargo thieves on the A73 highway in Haps, a village in the Dutch province of North Brabant, on 29 June. This was one of a series of freight thefts on the A73 reported to TAPA’s IIS last month. Other crimes included product losses of:

  • IT components in Venray, Limburg
  • Concentrated juice in Venray
  • Coffee makers in Venray
  • Fuel in Venray
  • Powdered soup in Roermond, Limburg
  • Metal in Lokkant, North Brabant
  • Plastic gloves in Roermond
  • Electrical plugs in Haps
  • Car polish in Haps
  • Computer/laptop products in Haps
  • Bicycles in Venray

In the €50,000 to £100,000 loss category, the incident with the highest value involved the theft of €65,000 of microwave ovens from a trailer parked at Beaconsfield MSA on the M40 in Buckinghamshire, United Kingdom, on 6 June.

Based on the June data that had already been recorded as the July issue of Vigilant went to press, the Netherlands had recorded the highest number of losses for the month in the IIS database. In addition to the incidents mentioned earlier in this article, other incidents included thefts from supply chains of:

  • Alcohol in Duiven, Gelderland
  • Copper in Zwolle, Overijssel
  • Tyres in Hank, North Brabant
  • Car engines in Hoorst aan de Maas, Limburg
  • Animal supplies in Liempde, North Brabant
  • Vacuum cleaners in Coevorden, Drenthe
  • Cigarettes in Deurningen, Overijssel
  • Coffee in Lierop, North Brabant
  • Perfume in Duiven, Gelderland

In the United Kingdom in June, TAPA EMEA was notified of several attacks by offenders who threatened truck drivers with knives:

·         In Renfrewshire, Scotland, targeting cash-in-transit

·         A driver held at knifepoint in Sandwell in the West Midlands while his vehicle and unspecified cargo were stolen

·         A group of offenders in West Bromwich in the West Midlands – one armed with a knife – who dragged a driver from his cab before stealing the vehicle and its load

·         An assault on a driver at a service station in Northamptonshire and the theft of unspecified cargo


Other crimes in the UK included further evidence of thieves targeting vehicles carrying tobacco products when they are stuck in slow moving traffic in city areas. On 25 June, a car pulled in front of a truck travelling on the A406 in London in order to slow the vehicle, enabling thieves in a white transit van to drive close enough to the back of the truck to open its rear doors and steal a large amount of its cargo. 

At a motorway services on the A1 in Barton, North Yorkshire, a driver interrupted thieves as they tried to transfer part of his vehicle’s load onto another lorry nearby. Although the offenders threatened the driver, he was able to use his truck to block their escape route, forcing the eight suspects to flee on foot.   

Police in the UK have also continued to demonstrate their commitment to reducing cargo crime with the arrests of three men after several trucks reported tarpaulin-cutting crimes at Newport Pagnell motorway services in Buckinghamshire. They also arrested three men on 7 June in Staffordshire who were using an HGV with cloned licence plates to transport cargo they had just stolen. Police officers caught up with the truck on the M1 motorway, which resulted in the offenders jumping from the moving vehicle and leaving it to crash into barriers as they tried to run away.  

In Germany, products including copper clippings, coffee and tools/building materials were reported stolen. Crimes were recorded in Berg in Bavaria as well as in Dortmund, Duisburg, Düren and Scholven in North Rhine-Westphalia.

More violent crimes took place in South Africa last month, the most severe of which saw a driver shot in the head and his colleague shot in the stomach as they were engaged in a shoot-out with thieves trying to hijack their truck on the N2 in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal. Two innocent bystanders were also shot as offenders in four cars attacked a cash-in-transit vehicle as it made a delivery to an ATM in Soweto, Gauteng province, on 6 June. Shots were also fired at a police officer who interrupted thieves as they ransacked cargo containers at an Origin Facility in Krugersdorp, Gauteng, on 29 June. Four armed attackers also stole a container full of clothing and a trailer after holding a security guard at gunpoint at an Authorised 3rd Party Facility in Clairwood, KwaZulu-Natal. 

Another driver also fell victim to the frequently seen ‘blue light’ modus operandi in South Africa. After being told to pull over by the driver of a white 4x4 vehicle with blue lights and informed the truck’s tailgate lights were not working, the driver was forced into the boot of the vehicle as he exited his cab to investigate. The driver was en route on the N1 in Pretoria at the time of the incident on 22 June.

Elsewhere in EMEA, TAPA’s IIS recorded cases of:

  • Four cargo crimes in Zimbabwe – all in Harare. Three involved attacks on vehicles carrying tobacco products while they were en route, while the other crime resulted in a loss of food and drink goods from a Destination Facility;
  • In Belgium, IIS received reports of thefts of cosmetics and hygiene products on the E42 in Liege, tobacco products in Rumst, chewing gum in Mons, and furniture/household appliances in Mechelen;
  • A Deceptive Stop in France on 25 June resulted in a theft of a vehicle and its unspecified cargo valued at ‘tens of thousands of Euros’. The truck was travelling on the A43 between Vaulx and Milieu when it was stopped by a car with a blue light. After ordering the driver out of his cab, one of the suspects climbed into the truck and drove off;
  • The use of a door alarm system prevented thieves from stealing a shipment of pharmaceuticals after they broke into a secured compound in Barcelona, Spain;
  • In Sweden, offenders escaped with 30 49-inch televisions after slashing the tarpaulin curtain of a truck in Hammarvagen, Gothenburg.  

Goods were recorded stolen in 15 TAPA IIS product categories. The top three were: 

  • Furniture/Household Appliances – 11 losses
  • No Load (Theft of truck and/or trailer) – 10
  • Tobacco – 10

To see the very latest cargo crime data, TAPA EMEA members are advised to visit the password-protected online IIS database.

Or to report a cargo crime, contact iis@(*** please remove ***)tapaemea.org