A delay in the reporting of cargo crimes in the Netherlands to TAPA’s Incident Information Service (IIS) for February means the current year-on-year comparison without the latest Dutch data shows a 30.3% reduction in recorded freight thefts in the EMEA region.

A total of 161 new incidents were reported to TAPA’s IIS last month compared to 231 in February 2017. However, last year’s total included 71 cargo crimes in the Netherlands, so when its February 2018 data is available, the year-on-year numbers are likely to be virtually unchanged. 

The newly-recorded intelligence shows a total loss of €6,561,639 for the 120 or 74.5% of incidents stating a value, producing an average loss for these crimes of €54,680. Overall, TAPA received reports of freight losses in 13 countries in the region involving goods from 16 IIS products categories.

Major crimes with a loss value of €100,000 or more accounted for 14 or 8.7% of the February total. The average loss for these high value incidents was €246,847 based on their combined value of €3,455,865.



February’s highest value loss of €510,504 occurred on the first day of the month in Northamptonshire, UK. Thieves stole a cargo of perfumes after cutting a hole in the curtain side of a parked and attended truck in a layby in the village of Bilsworth on the A43.  


60,000 pairs of children’s shoes were stolen in this theft from a Services 3rd Party Facility in the Mariyno district of Moscow on 17 February. The thieves also stole a vehicle during the raid.


The hijacking of a truck en route in Alberton in South Africa’s Gauteng province and the theft of unspecified cargo on 8 February. The tractor unit was later recovered minus its trailer and container.


17 pallets of training shoes were stolen from an unattended vehicle on 15 February. The truck had been left in an unsecured parking location on the E45 highway in the Danish city of Aabenraa.


Car parts were taken in this Theft from Vehicle crime while they were en route in Hungary on 5 February. No further information is available.


TAPA’s IIS recorded five related major cargo crimes in February, including three with individual loss values of €200,000. Ceramic plates were stolen in each incident. The three major losses occurred on 7, 12 and 14 February and were recorded in Scheibenhard in Grand Est in France, Hartheim am Rhein in Baden Württemburg, Germany, and Sainte-Hélène in the Aquitaine region of France respectively. One of the other crimes connected to these incidents took place in Merceuil, France, on 6 February and featured a further €50,000 loss. In each case, the vehicles’ tarpaulin curtains and security seals were still in perfect condition on arrival at their destination.   


20 pallets of coffee capsules were stolen in this Theft from Vehicle on 22 February. Offenders targeted the trailer in Rossaredsvägen in Sweden’s Halland County. 


Thieves entered a secured transport yard at an Origin Facility in Redditch, Worcestershire, in the UK on 18 February by cutting a hole in a boundary fence. After moving products from various vehicles, they stole a loaded semi-trailer, forcing open the security gates to make their escape.    


On 21 February, a cold storage vehicle containing a cargo of frozen meat was stolen from a Maritime Transportation Facility in Durban, South Africa.


In Corby, Northamptonshire in the UK, on 20 February thieves arrived in a tractor unit at a secured parking location on an industrial estate and connected it to a trailer loaded with furniture. After stealing the trailer and its load, they returned four hours later to successfully repeat the exercise.


Another major loss at a Maritime Transportation Facility, this incident took place on 1 February in Grimsby in North East Lincolnshire, UK. The offenders were able to enter a secured yard in an HGV and steal a semi-trailer loaded with aluminium.

TAPA EMEA has been asked not to report any information on the other major loss reported to its IIS team in February.

HIGH VALUE LOSSES BETWEEN €50,000 & €100,000

A further 18 crimes recorded last month gave a loss value of between €50,000 & €100,000 – producing a combined loss of €1,202,763 and an average loss of €66,820.

The top 10 highest value incidents TAPA EMEA can report all took place in the United Kingdom and all involved thieves cutting the curtain sides of vehicles or breaking open rear door locks of trucks to access their cargoes: 

·        €90,700 – A Theft from Vehicle crime and loss of a shipment of tyres on 7 February after thieves cut the curtain side of a parked and attended truck in Daventry, East Midlands

·        €81,684 – Another loss of tyres, this time from a truck parked at Membury motorway service area (MSA) near Hungerford, Berkshire, on 9 February

·        €78,281 – Cherwell Valley MSA on the M40 in Oxfordshire was the location of this crime on 9 February and the loss of electrical goods 

·        €76,677 – Tyres were also taken from a vehicle at a service area in Peterborough, Eastern England, on 12 February

·        €69,159 – Pharmaceuticals were stolen from a truck parked at Oxford Services on the M40 on 8 February after thieves forced open its rear doors

·        €65,079 – Thieves took clothing and footwear products from a vehicle parked at Toddington MSA on the M1 in Bedfordshire on 27 February 

·        €65,079 – Medway MSA on the M2 in Gillingham, Kent, was the scene of this crime on 22 February, which resulted in the theft of cosmetics and hygiene products

·        €63,490 – On 9 February, TAPA’s IIS received a report of a theft of medicines from Oxford MSA, possibly linked to a report of a similar crime a day earlier 

·        €62,835 – Sports shoes were stolen in another ‘curtain cutting’ crime at a UK MSA. This loss on 22 February was recorded at Hartshead Moor services on the M62 in West Yorkshire

·        €62,018 – A driver disturbed thieves trying to steal copper from his truck while it was parked in a layby on the A13 in Stanford Le Hope in Essex on 21 February. However, the driver was threatened and detained in the vehicle’s cab while the offenders stole the cargo


The United Kingdom, Sweden and France were the only countries in EMEA to see 10 or more recorded cargo thefts last month. Collectively, they accounted for 134 or 83.3% of the February incidents, with the 104 crimes in the UK making up 64.7% of the total. 38 of the crimes reported in the UK took place at motorway service areas.

In 33 or 20.6% of cases, Food & Drink was the product stolen. Of the remaining IIS product categories, only two saw double-digit incident rates:

·        Clothing & Footwear – 13 or 8.1%

·        Furniture/Household Appliances – 11 or 6.9%

The four highest types of incidents all involved trucks:

·        Theft from Vehicle – 113 incidents, 70.2% of the total

·        Theft from Trailer – 30 or 18.7%

·        Theft of Vehicle – 7 or 4.3%

·        Hijacking – 4 or 2.5%

TAPA’s latest crime intelligence continued to show the impact of the lack of secure parking sites in Europe. 119 or 74% of cargo thefts in February 2018 occurred when trucks stopped in Unsecured Parking locations. Consequently, Intrusion remained the most reported modus operandi used by cargo thieves, featuring in 130 or 80.8% of thefts in this reporting period.


Other interesting intelligence captured by TAPA’s IIS database last month included:

·        Thieves cut a hole in the roof of a trailer carrying tobacco products from Portugal to Slovakia. The incident is believed to have taken place in France during one of the driver’s rest breaks but only came to light when the truck’s rear doors were opened at its destination. The theft was concealed by the fact the curtain sides of the vehicle and its security seal were still intact

·        Three ‘blue light’ crimes were recorded in South Africa. In the first incident on 6 February, three men posing as police officers forced a driver to stop and said they were taking him to the local police station in Pietermaritzburg in KwaZulu-Natal. However, when they drove past the police station, the driver realised his vehicle was being hijacked and managed to escape by jumping from the moving truck. In Port Elizabeth on 19 February, the passengers of a white car with a blue flashing light hijacked a truck carrying meat after threatening the driver with a gun and, a day later, another vehicle showing blue lights stopped a truck on the meeting point of the N12 and N4 highways towards Johannesburg. Two of the offenders were wearing what looked like police uniforms and they were joined by two other suspects who tied up and detained the driver until the crime had been committed 

·        Four incidents were recorded in one week targeting Furniture/Household Appliances routed from Spain to Germany, including losses of hobs and cookers valued at €61,022 from a truck in an unsecured parking place in Scheibenhard in France

·        The single case of Theft from Moving Vehicle in February occurred in the UK on 8 February and saw thieves escape with phones valued at €45,380 from a truck travelling along the A5 main road in Hinckley, Leicestershire

·        22,000 items of clothing were stolen from a trailer in Gothenburg, Sweden, on 2 February

·        CCTV footage revealed a dramatic night-time warehouse raid in Enniskillen, Northern Ireland, on 1 February, which resulted in the loss of thousands of euros worth of designer clothing

·        A group of nine offenders stole a shipment of coffee from a motorway service area on the A8 in Lamain in the Belgian province of Hainaut on 15 February

·        A Theft from Trailer crime at an unknown location in Sweden, recorded on 9 February, resulted in the loss of five pallets of energy drinks, two pallets of razors and 362 boxes of lighters

·        140 cases of whiskey were stolen from a truck at Stafford MSA on the M6 in the UK on 19 February, while the driver was asleep in his cab. The thieves forced open the rear doors of the vehicle

·        Finally, in South Africa, nine suspects fired shots at the tyres of a cash-in-transit vehicle en route to Pretoria, forcing it to stop. They then used explosives to blow open the safe onboard the truck

TAPA EMEA members can find further February 2018 cargo crime intelligence in the Association’s password-protected Incident Information Service (IIS) database.