There were more cargo thefts in Canada last year than in the entire U.S., with Peel Region being the second busiest jurisdiction for thieves behind only California, reports Today’s Trucking.
Todd Moore, vice-president of cargo theft and specialty risk with ISB Global Services, addressed the issue at a Biz and Breakfast hosted by ISB, the magazine reports.
He pointed out cargo theft in the U.S. has declined in recent years, from 754 thefts in 2015 to 591 last year, while the opposite is true in Canada. There were 213 cargo thefts in 2015 in Canada, climbing to 621 in 2018, with a total value of more than $60 million. Moore said Canada should follow the U.S. lead in making cargo crime prevention a priority.
“In the States, they have cargo task forces, the state, federal and municipal police are all working together and they’re properly funded,” Moore said. “They treat it like an organized crime investigation. That has to be done up here in Canada.”
But in Canada, only Peel and York Region police have dedicated cargo crime units, and they’re overwhelmed, Moore said. He noted the Toronto area is a hotbed for cargo crime because it is home to one of the most unique landscapes of organized crime in North America, with several entities all working together.
They’re highly organized, with warehouses of their own they use to quickly unload cargo.
“They have a network of buyers always looking for certain goods,” Moore said. “It could be meat, beverages, they have their own distribution system to get rid of these goods.”
Food and beverages are now the most frequently stolen loads in Canada. Proceeds from cargo theft are often used as seed money for more sinister crimes, Moore said.
“There’s a mentality that it’s a property crime. It’s an organized crime problem, is what it is,” said Moore. “That mentality of it being a property crime spills into policing.”
Until the public and police agencies begin treating cargo crime like a bigger issue, Moore expects it to get worse before it improves. It’s a low-risk/high-reward crime, with jailtime unlikely, he said. Methods are also evolving.
One of the most common ways of accessing the load is to cut the trailer seal, Moore said. Thefts usually occur between Friday night and Monday morning, when security is often lax and police are busy tending to other crimes.
Inside collusion is another common tactic; it’s usually a supervisory level warehouse worker that’s tipping off thieves, Moore said.
Full story here.