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SoCal cargo theft ring adopts tricky new methods

Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Aug. 5, 2022:

A cargo theft crew in Southern California has developed new methods in the "strategic theft" category that involve posing as legitimate carriers, and continues to be "highly active," according to a press release from Overhaul, a freight visibility company. 

Overhaul said the same crew had some of its members arrested in May of this year, and that they target "electronics and other in-demand products," and typically strike just before the weekend to make sure more time passes before victims realize what has happened. 

"This crew uses strategic methods to steal shipments, arriving as a double- or triple-brokered carrier with drivers that have stolen or otherwise falsified CDLs," Overhaul said. "They will operate as a legitimate carrier, frustrating investigative and recovery efforts until the cargo is transloaded into a different trailer and stolen. If an investigation into noncompliance events is attempted, plausible excuses are fabricated. For shipments without compliance monitoring, these thefts will go unnoticed until the shipment fails to arrive at its destination or comes with significant product missing."

Thefts are typically scheduled so that the pickup and delivery are separated by a weekend, allowing for more non-business hours to stage and transload the shipment, Overhaul said. 

Red flags Overhaul said that indicate a shipment should not be given over to a driver include:

Overhaul warned people to be especially careful to look out for carriers that have any affiliation with two separate companies, currently not authorized Janjua Transport of Bakersfield, Califonia, or "A&P Freight-lines," Overhaul said. An A&P Freight Lines listed in Merced, California, and currently authorized, has a recent-years history of insurance cancelation/authority revocation and reinstatement in FMCSA's Licensing and Insurance portal. Overdrive contacted A&P Freight Lines but did not receive comment. This post will be updated with any future comment. 

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