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Old February 19, 2013, 10:48 AM   #41
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Join Date: February 10, 2010
Posts: 720
It would not be difficult to steal a load of ammunition. Cargo theft is a known problem, and has been for years. Lets discuss some common points...

1. The driver, can take or sell stuff off the truck, then try to disguise it in someway. Not typical nowadays with the trailers having a seal on it to detect tampering, and the GPS systems used. There are ways to defeat both, but its just not common. Also, the driver can be in connection either directly, or set up by a third party, which could lead to a theft.

2. The shipper. An age old trick has been to remove boxes from the center of the pallet, or to some remove full boxes, and replace with empty boxes, so that the pallet apears to be full, until it is broke down and inspected. The shipper can also tip off a theif off a certain load, truck/trailer number, etc, so the theif can identify it later down the road.

3. Typically criminal organizations...They can either work alone, or with help from the shipper, consignee or driver, as I touched on above. Its not too difficult for criminals with some observation skills to learn which trucking companies transport shipments for certain companies. Its kind of low-tech...Basically sit in the car, and watch alittle, then take a more educated chance on which try has the high value products on it. There used to be a rash of truck/cargo thefts in the atlanta area years ago of baby food. Didnt take a rocket scientist for a criminal either...The cargo stole at the time was enroute to a distribution center a couple of miles from a truck stop. There were only a few companies transporting and making the deliveries. Basically the theives thought, "Hey, we know that distribution center has this high value product, and these trucks always stop here to wait for their delivery time, so lets watch for the driver to go inside and get a bite to eat, and take his truck/cargo" Later on, the distribution center, and trucking companies changed things around a bit to it wasnt quite as easy.

While some folks dont notice the markings on trucks, if you watch for a bit you will start to notice the truck/trailer numbers, company name, and MC/DOT numbers on them, as well as some other unique identification too, such as "contracted to "XYZ Manufacturing'"

The GPS tracking system I am most familier with is the older 2 and 3 piece qualcom systems...There were not that hard to defeat back when I started drove a truck full time years ago. The new ones are more difficult, but I am sure with trial and error it could be figured out, and they are also getting to be more integrated with the truck as well, with the introduction of e-logs a few years back. The main issue though would be the GPS systems attachted to the trailers, as they can be hid alot better, but they can also have such information such as when the doors are open/shut, etc.

Originally Posted by 44AMP
I believe there is a requirement that HAZMAT shippers have GPS on their trucks. At least trucks registered in the US anyway....
No requirement that I am aware of for general Haz-Mat to be tracked. Several local Haz-Mat tanker fleets here I know of dont use any GPS tracking.

I drove a truck for a while before going into law enforcement, and on my days off at times I still drive one for a little extra money.

For those of you who would like to read on some of the quartly reports on cargo theft put out by

A short article from Dec 2012 that discusses the trends briefly...
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