Cargo thieves were active in 19 countries in the Europe, Middle East & Africa (EMEA) region in October and November as TAPA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) recorded a total of 286 thefts or attempted thefts from supply chains.


The total loss value for the 56 or 19.6% of incidents sharing financial data was €7,264,757 – producing an average for these crimes alone of €129,727.

More than €6.2m of losses over the two months resulted from 19 major cargo crimes:


A Theft of Vehicle crime and the loss of miscellaneous cargo in Eindhoven in the Netherlands on 10 November.


The theft of a trailer loaded with electronics products on 18 October from an unknown location in Deventer in the Dutch province of Overijssel.




On the same day, also in Deventer, TAPA’s IIS received a report involving the theft of a vehicle and a shipment of sports clothing. 



On 15 November, a case of fraud and deception resulted in the theft of a cargo of pharmaceuticals from a Services 3rd Party Facility in Moscow. After collecting the goods, the driver was told to unload them at a different location by an unknown individual.  



Nine pallets of computers were stolen on 14 November after a deceptive stop of a truck and trailer in Vemars in Île-de-France.



Another major loss in the Netherlands involved this Theft of Trailer crime on 10 November. It was taken from an unclassified parking location in Rogat, Drenthe province. 



10 offenders were reportedly involved in this violent truck hijacking at a Services 3rd Party Facility in Kempton Park in South Africa’s Gauteng province on 20 November. They used a GPS jammer to block the vehicle’s security tracker and escaped with goods including clothing and electronics devices. According to IIS intelligence, a private security provider was despatched and found two suspicious vehicles following the truck. In the subsequent shoot-out between the offenders and security guards, four men were arrested, while four other fled the scene.    



10 tonnes of footwear disappeared from a Services 3rd Party Facility in Moscow on 23 November in another case of fraud and deception. Once again, the incident report stated that the driver was directed to a different delivery location by an unknown person after beginning his journey.  



18,000 bottles of whisky were stolen after an offender wearing a hi-vis jacked and hard hat gained access to an empty HGV cab at a Services 3rd Party Facility in Liverpool in the North West region of the UK. The offender reportedly connected a trailer loaded with the whisky and drove off. The empty, abandoned vehicle was later found in nearby Walton on 25 November.



In this fraudulent pick-up in Moscow on 21 November, thieves escaped with 20 tonnes of confectionary from a Services 3rd Party Facility. 




A shipment of televisions and computer screens were onboard two trailers stolen from Tradeport west in Venlo in the Netherlands on 28 November.



Electronic sports equipment is believed to have been stolen from a truck after a driver parked overnight in a layby on the A12 in Essex in the UK on 1 October.



A truck carrying electronics devices was stolen by a group of offenders from an Aviation Transportation Facility in Cape Town on 10 October. The vehicle’s tracking device led police to the area of Belville South where the empty truck was recovered. The stolen cargo was also found later on a farm in Klapmuts.   



20 tonnes of fireworks were stolen in another fraudulent pick-up from a Services 3rd Party Facility in Moscow. This incident was reported to TAPA EMEA on 16 November.



Three days earlier, the same type of incident was involved in the theft of a cargo of 20 tonnes of butter from a Services 3rd Party Facility in St. Petersburg in Russia’s Northwestern region. 



A cargo of mohair was taken by thieves involved in this violent truck hijacking in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, on 16 October, after the driver was forced to stop. The IIS incident report states that a car swerved in front of the truck before the driver was forced into the vehicle at gunpoint and blindfolded. The truck was later found abandoned.  



528 cartons of food were onboard a vehicle stolen in Kruiningen in the Dutch province of Zeeland on 7 November.



A 20-foot container loaded with whisky were stolen from an Origin Facility in Paisley, Scotland, on 17 October.  



On 4 November, computers/laptops were taken from a truck during an overnight stop at an unclassified parking location in Thrapston, Northamptonshire, in the UK.

A further eight incidents with loss values of between €50,000 and €100,000 were reported to TAPA’s IIS database during October and November:

·         €80,000 – Alcohol stolen from a vehicle at a service station on the A7 in Wornitz, Bavaria, on 21 November

·         €70,000 – Televisions taken from a truck parked overnight at an unclassified parking location in Heideloh, Lower Saxony, on 6 November

·         €67,961 – A shipment of footwear taken from a Services 3rd Party Facility in Moscow on 20 November

·         €57,591 – A deceptive pick-up of 20 tonnes of clothing and footwear from another Services 3rd Party Facility in Moscow by a driver using forged documents

·         €56,802 – 20 tonnes of alcohol taken from a Services 3rd Party Facility in Moscow on 6 November

·         €51,764 – Another theft from a Services 3rd Party Facility in Russia by a driver using forged documentation. This incident on 5 November resulted in the loss of clothing and footwear

·         €50,000 – The theft of 20 tonnes of chocolate from an Origin Facility in Bludenz, Austria, on 15 November following a deceptive pick-up. The shipment had been outsourced to a Hungarian transport provider who then sub-contracted it on to a Czech trucking company  

·         €50,000 – Another deceptive pick-up, this crime took place in Poland on 1 October and involved the theft of a shipment of chewing gum   


Over 65% of crimes in October and November took place in the Netherlands and United Kingdom, which recorded 149 and 42 incidents respectively.

Four other countries reported a double-digit rate of incidents over the two months:

·         Russia – 25 incidents, 8.7% of the two-month total

·         Germany – 21 or 7.2%

·         South Africa – 20 or 6.8%

·         Belgium – 11 or 3.7%

Goods were stolen in 17 TAPA IIS product categories, with seven recorded 10 or more crimes:

·         Food & Drink – 36 (12.6% of the two-month total)

·         Clothing & Footwear – 19 (6.7%)

·         Tobacco – 19 (6.7%)

·         Furniture/Household Appliances – 18 (6.3%)

·         Cosmetics & Hygiene – 16 (5.6%)

·         Computers/Laptops – 13 (4.5%)

·         No Load (Theft of truck and/or trailer) – 12 (4.1%)

Cargo crimes were reported in 14 IIS incident categories, led by the 162 or 56.6% cases of Theft from Vehicle. The next five highest categories were:

·         Fraud – 28 (9.8%)

·         Theft of Vehicle – 22 (7.7%)

·         Theft from Trailer – 20 (6.9%)

·         Hijacking – 13 (4.5%)

·         Clandestine – 11 (3.8%)

Three locations types accounted for 201 or 70.2% of all incidents added to the IIIS database in this reporting period; Unclassified Parking Location – 137 (47.9%), En Route – 33 (11.4%), and Services 3rd Party Facility – 31 (10.9%).


TAPA’s IIS recorded 21 crimes in October and November involved the M.O. of Violent & Threat with Violence.


The two months also saw increases in the number of multiple curtain-slashing crimes in the Netherlands and more cases of clandestine intrusion into vehicles. Police in the Netherlands reported a series of attacks on trucks on the same nights, including 77 vehicles being targeted in Hasselt, 26 on the A2 in Echt, 22 on the A50 in Heteren, 17 more cases of a separate day on the A2 in Echt, 15 on the A73 in Haps, 15 on the A50 in Schaijk, 11 in Tiel, and a further 10 on the A73 in Haps.


11 cases of clandestine intrusion were reported to TAPA’s IIS in Belgium, France, Greece, the Netherlands, Slovakia and the United Kingdom.


With incident updates being reported to TAPA on a daily basis, TAPA members can access all of the Association’s latest cargo crime intelligence using the password-protected IIS database.