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Overhaul Facilitates Recovery of Pilfered Rail Shipment in Los Angeles Amidst Unprecedented Rail Theft Activity

Date: January 19, 2022
Location: Southern California
Incident: Rail Pilferage Recovery

On Wednesday, January 19, Overhaul facilitated the recovery of product along rail lines inside the Port of Los Angeles.

First alerted of tampering with the shipment by device notification late in the evening, Overhaul activated its LE Connect Response Team within 3 minutes of notification. Leveraging law enforcement relationships and embedded device data, the LE Connect Response Team contacted the Port of Los Angeles police and was able to get an on-the-ground response to the exact location of the container in time to disrupt a pilferage in progress by an unknown number of suspects.

The container’s high-security locks had been breached and cargo was found scattered on the ground around the container as suspects had apparently fled the incoming response during the theft. All pilfered cargo was recovered, although the suspects are still at large.The port police were able to provide the Overhaul LE Connect Response Team with photos showing the real-time status of the container and contents, including damage to the seals. The load was resealed onsite and continued to its destination on schedule.

Previous reports in this area indicate that a large-scale pilferage loss was avoided, as other incidents have involved multiple cargo vans or box trucks to move the pilfered cargo and have, at times, emptied entire containers.

Overhaul is continuing to track unprecedented pilferage activity at rail yards in and around Los Angeles, California. Despite an alert about this same issue only a week ago, the situation warrants renewed attention. Of note, thieves have begun operating inside the port itself, pilfering from rail containers as they sit idle in publicly accessible port facilities. Reports have also included train derailments potentially caused by refuse from opened containers littering the tracks (Source: California News Times) to fires inside containers and even reports of rail employees being physically threatened (Source: NBC Los Angeles).

While not to this level of severity, Overhaul has noted rail pilferages have increased in the Atlanta, GA, and Memphis, TN metro areas as well.

Source: California News Times

If possible, Overhaul recommends not utilizing rail to move high-value or sensitive cargo at this time. If rail is being used to move shipments, Overhaul recommends that all identifying markings be removed from containers, as well as high-security bolt seals which indicate the presence of valuable cargo to thieves scanning all the containers on a train. Additionally, if possible, it is recommended to have containers placed on the bottom well of a double-stack car which impedes entry through container doors.


About Overhaul’s Intelligence and Response Team:

Overhaul’s Intelligence and Response Team provides shipment information directly to the responding law enforcement officers via LE Connect. LE Connect sends real-time tracking, pictures, and data directly to the officer’s smartphone streamlining communication and providing critical information directly in the hands of those who need it most. To learn more, visit www.over-haul.com/le-connect.

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